Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, has called for strong partnership, integrated efforts and effective collaboration to reduce the burden of malaria in the country.
Azinge made the call during a state broadcast to mark this year’s World Malaria Day with the theme, “End Malaria for Good.”
The commissioner said such efforts would provide an opportunity for the state and its partners including local government areas and communities to scale up achievements in the control of malaria and other diseases of public
health importance.
He said though malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children under-five and pregnant women, investments in its control had created unprecedented and remarkable returns in the past, saying malaria related deaths had been cut by one third within the last decade.
According to him, cases of malaria was reduced by 50 percent during the same time period, stating that access to control interventions improved significantly, making overall child mortality rates to fall by approximately 20 percent.
The commissioner described malaria as a disease that affects both the rich and the poor, emphasising that the presence of mosquitoes is associated with poor sanitation, particularly in an environment that harbours stagnant water.
He, however, expressed the need for collective efforts to protect everyone against mosquito bite, adding that apart from malaria, mosquitoes are vectors of many emerging diseases such as Zika fever, yellow fever, dengue fever, filariasis, West Nile virus and several variant of what he called equine encephalitis.
He said already, the Delta State Government has made efforts to mitigate the impact of the disease on the populace through intervention packages in line with the Abuja Declaration on Roll Back Malaria, signed in 2000 by African Heads of State in attendance.
The health commissioner said because of the need to effectively key into the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, the administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has initiated several strategies that would ensure the good health of all Deltans.
He listed them to include the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme Act and the subsequent establishment of a commission aimed at strengthening the health system from primary, through secondary to tertiary healthcare.

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