The Network of Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has sought aggressive media organisations’ support in the ongoing efforts to eradicate malaria in Nigeria, especially in Kaduna state.
Kaduna State Program Officer, ACOMIN, Ogidi Nicodemus, made the appeal during his organisation’s bi-annual media interactive session on the Global Fund malaria project held at a hotel in Barnawa, Kaduna, Kaduna State.
According to him, since 2019, the country has recorded the highest number of global malaria cases (put at 23 percent of global malaria cases) and accounted for the highest number of deaths (put at 23 percent of global malaria deaths).
He added that, out of the unpalatable malaria prevalence data in Nigeria, pregnant women and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable groups to malaria – usually with severe symptoms and outcomes such as miscarriage, intrauterine demise, premature delivery, low birth weight in new-born babies and national deaths.
It is, therefore, germane that the media organisations and media practitioners join the efforts of the civil society organisations, development partners and government, especially in the area of media advocacy, education and sensitisation of locals on malaria prevention to change the narratives.
Specifically, ACOMIN wants the media organisations and media practitioners to help in advocating for full implementation of budgetary allocations to malaria, increase budgetary allocation to malaria and educate the public on the need to imbibe malaria prevention practice as a lifestyle among others.
Also speaking, Desk Officer, Malaria, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Board, Halima Shehu said, the state government was doing a lot to eradicate malaria in the state with the support of development partners and civil society organisations.
According to her, “we have a lot of activities developed to ensure that we eliminate malaria in Kaduna state. For example, we are distributing malaria commodities to health facilities to diagnose and treat those with confirmed malaria cases in these facilities.
“In collaboration with other partners, we are into seasonal prevention campaigns targeting children from three months to 59 months. They suppose to receive what we call ‘spark’ for five cycles to prevent them from getting malaria.
“For the pregnant women, we have what we call routine malaria intervention where we give them insecticide-treated mosquito nets and SP to prevent them from getting malaria.
“Based on the report we analysed last year, we have decreased in the number of malaria among the children that receive the intervention and pregnant women that used their net and other malaria commodities effectively”, she added.