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LASG Committed To Fight Against Malaria, Says Health Commissioner

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….657,154 Malaria Patients In Health Facilities In 2020

The Lagos State government has reiterated its commitment to the fight against malaria, imploring Lagosians to remain committed to collective efforts towards effective control in the state.

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi in commemoration of the 2021 World Malaria Day.

Abayomi said that there has been marked reduction in the cases of malaria globally (between 2010 and 2019 with decline from 71 to 57 cases per 1,000 population at risk), adding that Nigeria has recorded decline in malaria cases (from 42% in 2010 to 27% in 2015 and 23% in 2018).

He added: “The National Malaria Indicator Survey conducted in 2015, Lagos State Malaria Indicator Survey conducted in 2017 and National Demographic and Health Survey revealed that the prevalence of malaria is low in Lagos State. Although malaria prevalence is low in Lagos State, the burden is still high as over 700,000 persons are diagnosed with the disease annually.

“It is therefore germane that we Stand up and Take Action against malaria. By taking actions, we would be curbing the spread of the disease. It is essential that we prevent malaria by sleeping inside Long–Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs). This is particularly important for the vulnerable groups –pregnant women and children under 5 years old. Pregnant women are also encouraged to take Sulphadoxine Pyimethamine to prevent malaria in pregnancy from 2nd trimester.

“Before using Artemisinin – based Combination Therapy (ACTs) for treatment of fever, diagnosis either using malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (mRDT) kit or a microscope must be done. This is because not all fevers are caused by malaria. Diagnosis of patients with fever using microscopy or mRDT kit prior to treatment of the disease improves the overall management of patients with fever.

“This is also very important at this time as people infected with SARS–CoV–2 virus which causes COVID–19 manifest symptoms like malaria. The distinction between malaria and COVID–19 is made only after proper diagnosis using appropriate test kits.

“Thus, testing for malaria is essential as it helps to reduce unnecessary use of antimalarial drugs thereby preventing the emergence and spread of drug resistance and to ensure that antimalarial drugs are reserved for those suffering from the disease. It is also imperative that all malaria cases diagnosed are recorded in the appropriate data tools to ensure that all cases of malaria in the State are duly reported”.

Abayomi explained that dirty environment serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes, advising that proper maintenance and management of the environment would prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

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