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Poverty, lack of awareness still fuels malaria prevalence in Nigeria – Ndigwe

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Nicole Ndigwe, a film Writer and producer is calling for deeper awareness in Nigeria to reduce the frequency of child and maternal mortality caused by malaria.

She made this call as World Malaria Day 2019 approaches, by making a new short film, Anave, which foreshadows the five United Nations’ sustainable development goals that form the foundation of the Malaria, Child and Maternal Mortality Eradication( MACMME) project.

Anave tells the story of an eight-year-old boy whose mother dies from malaria complications at childbirth. It also traces the journey of the underprivileged Nigerian child in his or her daily struggle for survival.

Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. This parasite can live for up to 30days in a body.

In Nigeria 97 percent of the population is at risk of malaria. The pregnant woman and her unborn child are most at risk of dying from the disease.

According to Ndigwe, Anave, which is produced in partnership with Sterling Bank, serves as an advocacy tool for creating awareness and raising a voice for the plight of the underprivileged Nigerian child and mother.

“Going by the statistics which says that each year in Nigeria an average of 300,000 children are killed by malarial, the same malaria that some people think it’s nothing. 2, 300 under five year old and 145 women of child bearing age also die monthly in Nigeria making it the second largest contributor to under five and maternal mortality rate in the world.”

“Burden of child and maternal mortality can be linked to problems such as homelessness, malaria, hunger and other opportunistic infections,” she said.

Also speaking Frank Nweke, a former minister of Information and National Orientation, urged that government at all level and other key stakeholders in the health sector need to constantly sensitise the people on how to prevent diseases and outbreaks.

He said, “I’m very happy that there is a movie, Anave that tell the story of what is actually possible when institutions step up to the kind of support needed to develop the health sector and the society at large.

“Anave is an advocacy tool aimed at bringing about change, to draw attention to the issue around preventable disease. When you look at the statistics it is incredible, a situation where you have about two to three thousand kids die because of preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, which is not supposed to be so.”

 

ANTHONIA OBOKOH

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