The Nasarawa state government says it will commence the distribution of drugs to children under five years to protect them against malaria infection.
Dr Ibrahim Alhassan, Director of Public Health, Nasarawa State ministry of Health made the disclosure on Monday in Lafia during an advocacy visit to Nasarawa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
According to him, the drug known as Sulfudoxine Pyrimethamine +Aqamediaguine (SO+AQ) will protect the children from malaria and would be administered from May to October.
“These are the months where malaria is at its peak,’’ he said.
He said that the drug was formulated for children adding that it was not right for adults.
Alhassan said that the ministry would also distribute 1.6 million insecticide treated nets as part of measures to eradicate the scourge of malaria in the state.
He said the
insecticide treated nets were last distributed three years ago adding that the nets are supposed to be used for three years.
Alhassan said the state government through the ministry was working hard to change the psyche of the public to constantly sleep under the net in order not to make themselves vulnerable to mosquitoes.
He said malaria was still ravaging the world and therefore called on members of the public to join hands with the government to tackle it.
“A lot of people died of malaria, pregnancy loss and babies underdeveloped due to malaria infection and urged that all hands must be on deck to contain further spread,” he said.
He said that the burden of malaria over the years in Nasarawa State was 27 to 30 per cent adding that due to various interventions by the government and development partners, it has reduced to 14 per cent.
Alhassan said this was based on the demographic and health survey carried out in 2018.
“The only sure way of reducing the burden of malaria for now is using the insecticide treated mosquito net,” the Director added.
According to the Director of Public Health, the visit was aimed at partnering NUJ with a view of getting to the entire people of the state and beyond on measures to be taken to prevent the spread of malaria.
He added that the ministry had prepared sensitisation messages in different local languages to ensure they get to the uneducated.
Responding, Salihu Mohammed-Alkali, NUJ Nasarawa council Chairman expressed gratitude to the team for the visit.
He promised to partner with the ministry to ensure that malaria was completely eradicated from the state. (NAN)