By Chimezie Godfrey
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged government at all levels to prioritize programs and activities aimed at eradicating malaria in the country.
The association also stressed the need for government to deploy more resources towards achieving a malaria free country.
The NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile on Friday stated this in his admonition of Nigerians on the occasion of the World Malaria Day 2020, with the theme,”ZERO MALARIA STARTS WITH ME,” which he said underscores the role everyone has to play in ending the scourge.
Faduyile advised all households to use this period of lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, to clear out drains and bushes around their homes.
He also urged them to continue to sleep under insecticide treated nets and observe all precautionary measures to protect them from the bites of mosquitoes.
The NMA President further urged Nigerians at the phase of community transmission of COVD-19, to as much as possible avoid self-medication but rather report to health care facilities as Malaria and COVID-19 share similar symptoms.
“Unlike COVID-19 that has affected almost the whole world, malaria’s endemicity in Nigeria and other tropical countries is associated with poverty and inequity, with the most vulnerable at greatest risk of dying.
“This therefore makes it imperative for extra efforts to ensure that whatever economic palliatives distributed targets the very poor and vulnerable in the society.
“As the attention of the world is currently fixated on the ravaging COVID-19, NMA calls on governments at all levels not to de-prioritise the programs and activities aimed at ultimately eradicating malaria but deplore more resources towards a malaria free Nigeria,” he said.
The world malaria day is observed on April 25 each year to raise awareness of the global burden of Malaria, a preventable and treatable arthropod transmitted disease that puts half of the world at risk and kills a child every two minutes.