World Malaria Day: Oyo’s malaria prevalence drops to 22 per cent — Govt

Oyo State Government, on Tuesday, said its investments in innovative ways to manage, control and eliminate malaria have caused its prevalence in the state to drop to 22 per cent, far below the national figure put at 46 per cent.

In addition, a reduction in percentage of uncomplicated malaria cases from 74 percent in 2020 to 57 per cent in 2022 and a reduction in fever cases tested positive with a rapid diagnostic kit for malaria within the same period from 75 per cent to 56 per cent were recorded after the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.

Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Bode Ladipo, who made this disclosure at 2023 World Malaria Day celebration at the Oyo State Emergency Operation Centre, said the state intends to accelerate progress towards ending malaria death and cases, with a focus on reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized population, thereby ensuring that no person is left behind.

Ladipo, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry, Dr Olusoji Adeyanju, said the reduction in malaria cases was as a result of a multi-prong approach by Oyo State government, including the use of insecticidal mosquito nets, prompt and free malaria testing and treatment, community engagement and sensitization as well as malaria prophylaxis for pregnant mothers.

He added, “part of governments innovation in ensuring implementation of malaria services are sustainable and a reduction in the burden of malaria across the private facilities (30) with the highest malaria burden is the provision of materials such as thermometers, ITNs, COVID test and ACTS.

“The private health sector is very important as it has been shown that 60 percent of antenatal clinics receive services at private facilities. Presently, the state government also provides free malaria commodities to primary and secondary facilities across the state in addition to implementing partners’ support to prevent the stock out syndrome.”

Dr Ladipo, urged the public to utilize insecticidal treated nets, ensure a clean environment void of mosquitoes breeding sites and promote healthy practices even as Nigeria moves towards peak malaria season while pregnant women should access care at the facility by early registration and access free testing and treatment in case of fever.

In a remark by Mrs Toyin Afanchang, the Oyo State Coordinator for USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BAN), said alongside other partners, its community level activities will continue engender uptake of malaria services at health facilities, priorities early registration for women, especially women in rural areas, drive male support for antenatal care and child health care at health facilities.

Malaria Consortium Oyo state Programme Manager, Mrs Taiwo Olarinde said this year, seasonal malaria chemoprevention will be administered in 6 LGAS to over 300,000 children between ages 3 and 59 months as part of efforts to ensure zero malaria cases in Oyo State.

In a remark by Chairman, Nigeria Private Medical Practitioners, Oyo State chapter, Dr Olayide Oladipupo declared that to ensure zero malaria cases, private medical practitioners’ needs to be carried along and called for increased collaboration with the government to tackle other health challenges in the state.

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