The Lagos State Ministry of Health has partnered with Godrej Nigeria Limited, an insecticide maker in its bid to enhance its means of curbing malaria prevalence in the state.
The collaboration, marking 2022 World Malaria Day, will see increased efforts directed at public awareness of malaria prevention measures as the state moves to align with global calls for the scaling up innovation and deployment of new tools to combat the disease, the partners said.
Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for Health, speaking during an awareness walk said the government has adopted a multi-layered approach in reducing malaria incidence, including environmental management and integrated vector control.
It is also using diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and evaluation alongside operational research in its quest for results for evidence–based programming.
Addressing the theme “Harness Innovation to Reduce the Malaria Burden and Save Lives”, Abayomi who was represented by Olusegun Ogboye, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Health noted malaria remains a major public health challenge in the state, leading morbidity and mortality among the vulnerable population, children under five and pregnant women in particular.
“This year’s theme 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,” he said.
“Equally of relevance is the necessity for continuous community engagement and partnership, knowing that every effort counts. I commend Godrej Nigeria Limited for their partnership with the Ministry and encourage more of these collaborations with the private sector
The commissioner urged all stakeholders to play a role in effective malaria control and elimination, adding that all needs to ensure a clean environment as well as the use of preventive antimalarial measures and appropriate diagnosis prior to malaria treatment.
Similarly, Gbenga Omotoso, the commissioner for Information and Strategy, who also partook in the awareness walk urged all citizens to support the government’s efforts in the fight against malaria.
He said all must protect their environment through effective refuse disposal and management, protection of water storage containers, clearing of gutters, dredging of canals, among other things that avoid breeding sites for mosquitoes.
“Proper maintenance and management of the environment would prevent mosquitoes from breeding and prevent the malaria parasite,” he said.
Chitwan Singh, managing director, Godrej West Africa, who pledged support to the control and elimination of malaria in Lagos, adding it is important for private bodies to redouble efforts against malaria.
He noted that malaria is a controllable challenge that requires collaboration in the areas of education, awareness and the right tools and technology to combat the disease.
“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,” he said.