Lagos State Government has pledged to scale up innovation and deploy new tools to combat Malaria, just as it restated its commitment to eliminate Malaria from the State.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi made the promise Tuesday, while speaking during an awareness walk to commemorate year 2022 World Malaria Day in Lagos, noting that the need to step up to combat Malaria aligns with the theme for this year’s celebration, “Harness Innovation to Reduce the Malaria Burden and Save Lives”.
Abayomi who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that the present administration is committed to tackle the scourge of Malaria by using a multi-pronged approach including Environmental management and Integrated Vector Control for the prevention of malaria; effective diagnosis and appropriate treatment of malaria cases; and Monitoring and Evaluation with emphasis on operational research and the use of its results for evidence–based programming.
He noted that Malaria remains a major public health challenge in the State, adding that the disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the vulnerable group especially, children of under five years of age and pregnant women.
According to him, “this year’s theme ‘Harness Innovation to reduce the malaria burden and save lives’, highlights the fact that no single tool that is available today will solve the problem of malaria, rather, our collective actions involving improved investments, new and enhanced vector control approaches, diagnostics and antimalarial medicines would speed up the pace of progress in the fight against the disease.
“These investments involve substantial funding support both domestically and from donors. A commendable investment is the collaboration between Lagos State Ministry of Health and Godrej Nigeria Limited, producers of GoodKnight Insecticides to commemorate the Year 2022 World Malaria Day.
“Equally of relevance is the necessity for continuous community engagement and partnership knowing that every effort counts in the fight against malaria. I wish to commend Godrej Nigeria Limited for their partnership with the Ministry in commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day and encourage more of these collaborations with the private sector”, Abayomi said.
The Commissioner urged all stakeholders to continue in the efforts towards effective malaria control and elimination in Lagos State adding that everyone has a vital role at ensuring clean environment as well as the use of the preventive antimalarial measures and appropriate diagnosis prior to malaria treatment.
“The War Against Malaria (WAM) is one that must be won. Lagos State Government is very committed to this fight; we must all come together to fight malaria, and this can be achieved knowing that “Every Effort Counts”, he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso who also participated in the awareness walk urged all citizens to support the State Government’s efforts in the fight against malaria.
Said he “We must ensure that we clean our environment properly via effective refuse disposal and management, covering of water storage containers, clearing of gutters, dredging of canals and channels among others, clearing of unkempt and dirty environments as these are breeding sites for mosquitoes”.
“Proper maintenance and management of the environment would prevent mosquitoes from breeding and prevent the malaria parasite’’, He said.
Managing Director, Godrej West Africa, Chitwan Singh who pledged his company’s support to the control and elimination of Malaria in Lagos Nigeria noted that it was important for state and non-state actors to redouble efforts in the fight against malaria leveraging on public private partnership.
He explained that Malaria is a challenge which is within the realm of possibilities of control adding that there is need for collaboration in the areas of education, awareness and involving the right tools and technology to combat the disease in a very meaningful and significant way.
“It is important that we redouble our efforts in the fight against malaria, and the government alone cannot do this. The fight against COVID-19 as thought us what public private partnership can really do. You know when people join hands together and put their heads together, the best technologies are put to use; a typical example is how vaccination can be developed in double quick time which nobody thought was possible, I think similar kinds of initiatives are required even in our fight against Malaria.
“And that is where companies like Godrej come in, we bring in the expertise of innovation, best of technologies, we educate, create awareness and also ensure accessibility to vector control innovative solutions as a core part of our strategies”, he said.