By Stanley Onyekwere
In support of the global effort to control and eliminate malaria, the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday kicked off a free malaria testing, treatment and community sensitization exercise, for people in the Council.
The exercise, which is part AMAC’s roll back malaria programme, held simultaneously at the Council’s Secretariat and all its Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), to mark this year’s World Malaria Day in the council.
During the exercise, free long lasting insecticide treated nets were distributed to nursing mothers and pregnant women, as well as a rapid diagnostic test for everyone, and medicine issued to persons who tested positive, he or she will be given the appropriate medicine.
While flagging off the exercise, at Piwoyi community, in Gwarinpa ward of the council, the AMAC chairman, Hon. Micah Jiba, said the programme is part of the council’s intervention efforts geared towards the elimination of the scourge of malaria in the council.
He added that beyond the exercise, the council intends to continue the programme on a routine basis, with sustained creation of awareness for the people on how to key into the process, and help eliminate malaria.
He urged the people to cooperate with the administration on its effort to effectively tackle malaria in the in entire ward of the council.
In a good will message, programme manager, FCT Malaria Elimination Programme, who represented the Director, Public Health Department of the FCT Administration, said the programme noted that the number of people who suffer from malaria, cases of those in the hospitals as well as the number of death of children under five years and pregnant women, are coming down in the country.
“Apart from the routine distribution of nets and drugs, we want at least one person out of every two people in FCT to have a long lasting insecticide treated nets to prevent infected mosquito from biting people,” he expressed.
On his part, the Chief of Piwoyi, John Gata, thanked the AMAC chairman for choosing to flag off the programme and the distribution of the drugs and mosquito nets in the community.
He urged his people to make sure that they make good use of the treated mosquito nets, so that themselves and their will not be exposed to mosquito bites, that spreads the malaria parasite, calling on pregnant women to always visit the clinics for assistance.
He promised to enlighten his people more on how to eliminate malaria, by collaborating with the churches and mosques in the area, to make sure that the people participate and benefit fully in the free treatment and enlightenment programme of the government.
World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria. Each year, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partner organisations unite around a common theme.
This year’s theme: “Invest in the future: defeat malaria” is a three-year theme partners chose for the period of 2013-2015, to call attention to the need to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and defeat malaria in the future.