by Mitchelle Uzorka
World Malaria Day is observed annually on 25 April, to bring global attention to the efforts being made to bring an end to malaria and encourage action to reduce suffering and death from the disease.
That effort is echoed in this year’s theme: “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement.
To commemorate the 2023 World Malaria Day yesterday, the Rivers State Deputy Governor Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo in a Statement said, Rivers State ranks amongst the best 5 States in malaria control in Nigeria.
According to the Public Health Physician, the role of Governor Nyesom Wike in upgrading health facilities in the State has contributed immensely to the remarkable progress.
The Deputy Governor said there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria in 2021, which is an increase of 245 million cases in 2020, noting that the prevalence rate in Rivers State is 9% against a national prevalence of 22%.
She noted that the prevalence rate which was 11.3% in 2018 had dropped to 9% which is commendable.
Dr. Banigo said Nigeria has set the pace by being the 2nd Country after Ghana to approve the R 21 malaria vaccine which is expected to prevent malaria in children between 5 to 36 months of age.
The Deputy Governor commended the State Malaria Control Team for working assiduously to reduce the malaria burden of the State.
It would be recalled that the 25th of April has been set aside to commemorate World Malaria Day. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate and Implement”. The Slogan is Act Now.
Dr. Banigo said the state government has played its part and it behooves the citizens to play their part by testing before treating malaria to ensure they sleep inside insecticide-treated bed nets.
All pregnant women should register in government-approved health facilities to ensure they get intermitted preventive therapy during pregnancy.