World Malaria Day: Lagos Pledges To Scale Up Innovation, Deploy New Tools To Combat Scourge
The Lagos State Government has pledged to scale up innovation and deploy new tools to combat Malaria, just as it restated its commitment to eliminate the disease from the State.
Speaking during an awareness walk to commemorate the year 2022 World Malaria Day in Lagos, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, noted that the need to scale up innovation and deploy new tools 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 tackling 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, as well as Monitoring and Evaluation, with emphasis on operational research and the use of its results for evidence-based programming.
He noted 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 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.
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 in ensuring a clean environment as well as the use of the preventive antimalarial measures and appropriate diagnosis before malaria treatment.
Speaking in the same vein, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, who also partook in the awareness walk, urged all citizens to support the State Government’s efforts in the fight against malaria.
His words: “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 added.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Godrej West Africa, Chitwan Singh, who pledged his company’s support to the control and elimination of Malaria in Lagos, noted that it is 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, stressing the need for collaboration in the areas of education, awareness and involving the right tools as well as technology to combat the disease in a very meaningful and significant way.
Singh said: “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 has thought us what public-private partnerships can 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 added.