Africare, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) active in the health sector has intensified its campaign against malaria in the oil producing communities of Akwa Ibom State.
Accordingly, it has undertaken a free medical outreach in Iwuochang, Ibeno local government area as part of activities marking the World Malaria Day in Akwa Ibom State providing Rapid Diagnostic Test and malaria drugs to women and pregnant mothers in the area.
In addition, it distributed Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets and undertook health talks to create awareness on the disease.
Supported by Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) under the Malaria Prevention in Supplier Communities (MAPS-C) the NGO had previously undertaken health campaigns focusing on malaria prevention and control in Eket local government area, also an oil producing community in Akwa Ibom State.
The medical outreach which also included demonstration of the proper use of the long lasting insecticide nets and talks environmental cleanliness attracted key players in the health sector both at the local government level and at the state level as well as representatives of Mobil Producing Nigeria.
Speaking, Ime Akpan, Africare’s project coordinator in Akwa Ibom State, praised Mobil for the malaria control programmes in the oil producing communities saying its support has helped to sustain the programme. He also said that everybody tested for malaria had been provided with quality drugs.
Akpan who also lauded the local government councils for renovating health facilities however solicited for more cooperation in the provision of drugs.
“We want the local governments to provide drugs for other causes of fever, so that a child that is not positive for malaria could be treated for other diseases, they should assist in procuring RDT and ACT to reduce the morbidity we are seeing in the communities,’’ he said.
According to him, the local governments should complement the efforts made by Africare to ensure the prevention and control of malaria in the communities.
He said the World Malaria Day provided an opportunity for awareness campaigns on the menace posed by malaria and to sensitise the community to take appropriate action against ailment.
In an interview, Caroline Bassey, an official of Community Partners for Development praised Africare for its role in community management of malaria noting that a lot of awareness has been created on malaria control and prevention but advised the community members to make good use of the long lasting insecticide nets distributed to them.
The theme for this year’s World Malaria Day is “ Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria.”
ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo