Rivers State is now pushing for a total elimination of malaria following the success recorded in the spray of biolavicides across the State.The State Commissioner for Health Dr.Sampson Parker made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on the outcome of a meeting the State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had with medical doctors in the State in Port Harcourt, Tuesday.
The Rivers State Health Commissioner said, ”We in Rivers are not talking about malaria control, we are talking about malaria elimination. And so far we have done much more than the National Malaria Elimination Programme”.
He submitted that the biolavicide spraying programme handled by Ladiofam, a Cuban firm, has contributed in checking the menace of malaria in the State, hinting that already the State Government is about extending the exercise to reach all nooks and crannies of the State.
On the success of the meeting with the Governor, Dr. Parker said, ”We are going to make sure we invlove medical doctors both those in the private and public sectors to drive the programme. Even the various health centres will be used as anti-malaria centres” .
Part of the scheme he further stated will be to establish four secondary health centres and an additional Mother and Child Hospital to stem mother and infant mortality rate in the state.
Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Rivers State Chapter, Dr. Bonaventure Harry said though it is too early to score the State biolavicide spraying scheme, the State Government has shown zeal in checking the malaise.
The NMA Chairman insisted that the fight against malaria is multi-sectoral and should cover areas of environment, infrastructure, sanitation and hygiene and therefore called on the government to continue in its quest to curb the malaise.
He assured that the association will collaborate in driving government programmes and therefore urged the Governor to strengthen his support to medical practitioners in the state.
Also, Governor Amaechi has expressed concern over the indiscriminate and unauthorized business practices by local drug dealers in the state and has expressed government’s determination to take necessary steps to curb the practice. He spoke during an advocacy visit to him in Government House, Port Harcourt, Tuesday by the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria led by its national chairperson, Ejiro Foyibo.
Governor Amaechi said, “The state government will deal with the issue of local drug marketing…..and how to empower the taskforce set up for that purpose to do their job”.He said his government would ensure that a law is put in place to check the trend of unauthorized setting up of pharmaceutical shops in Rivers State.
“I think the proper thing to do is to ensure that there is a law that regulates the establishment of pharmaceutical shops and ensure that only qualified pharmacists can establish or if you are not you should at least have a qualified pharmacist working in the shop”.
Earlier, National Chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Pharm. Ejiro Foyibo said they were in Rivers State for a national conference of Pharmacists in the country tagged ‘Garden City 2012’.
She appealed to Governor Amaechi to strengthen the state’s taskforce to deal with issues of unqualified business practice by unqualified drug marketers in Rivers State. “We know that you are doing so much in the health sector in Rivers State but those commendable efforts must not be rubbished by unqualified drug dealers operating in the open drugs market of the state.
“We have so many people having no business with drugs yet giving drugs to the public”, she said.Another member and President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm Okwor while lauding Governor Amaechi for healthcare achievements in the State, also commended him for the new model primary and secondary schools in Rivers State