WORLD MALARIA DAY: ACOMIN Highlights Success Records In Delta State
By ABEL JOHNGOLD ORHERUATA
As part of its activities marking the World Malaria Day (WMD) and efforts in addressing the challenges posed by Malaria in Nigeria, the Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), a vendor under Catholic Relief Services (CRS), highlighted the success stories recorded in Delta State so far.
ACOMIN gave the highlights today, at a Press briefing held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre Asaba. Addressing journalists, the State Officer of the Programme, Sir Austin Uwede, hinted that ACOMIN was striving to develop a working relationships and linkages with media organizations and personalities for the increase funding in services. And to introduce the accountability and advocacy component of the project to the media and communities. According to Uwede, “Malara is one of Nigeria’s most important public health concerns because of the illness and death it causes to millions of people. This treatable and preventable disease is caused by a group of parasites called plasmodium and is transmitted through the bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito. Malaria is transmitted all over Nigeria”. He hinted that since 2019, Nigeria has recorded the highest number of global malaria cases (27% of global malarial cases) and accounted for the highest number of deaths (23% of global malarial deaths) In rural populations, prevalence is 2.4 times that in urban populations (31% vs 13%). Pregnant women and children under the age o s are the most vulnerable groups to malaria. Pregnant women infected with malaria usually have more severe symptoms and outcomes, with higher rates of miscarriage, intrauterine demise, premature delivery, low-birth-weight in new-born babies and neonatal death. That they are also at a higher risk for severe anaemia and maternal death. Compared to the highest socioeconomic group, prevalence among children in the lowest socioeconomic group is seven times higher (38% vs. 6%). The Delta State Program Officer added that Malaria is so important that 25 April every year has been set aside to mark the “World Malaria Day” (WMD). WMD highlights global efforts to control malaria and celebrate the gains that have been made. Furthermore, stakeholders in malaria intervention highlight the responsibility that they all have to end malaria. Leaders are also urged to increase their efforts in the fight to get the World closer to being malaria-free. Uwede disclosed that the Delta State Chapter of ACOMIN carried out the following activities to commemorate WMD this year: 1. Participated in a Sensitization rally in conjunction with the Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency. 2. Shared the year’s theme by all members in our various social media handles Uwede further stated that “The theme for 2022 WMD celebrations is “advance equity, build resilience, end malaria while the slogan is “every effort counts”. In advancing equity, given that health is a fundamental human right, the civil society sees the need and is working towards increasing equity as It pertains to health, particulariy access to malara services as well as service dellvery. Every person irrespective of their socio-economic class, gender, ethnicity, demography and location should have equal rights and unrestricted access to malaria and other healthcare services. The civil society also encourages building resilience of the community health systems – which can be achieved by promotng community ownership and investment in health systems. When strong health systems are in place, it is almost certain that eftorts put in to fight maiaria will be erfective, trackable and sustainable, especially at the community level.“Community investments in health have noticeably improved since the introduction of the community-led Monitoring (CLM) project being impiemented by ACOMIN, witn support from the Global Fund (GF). On this grant, ACOMIN and its member Community-based Organisations (CBOs) are working in 8 LGAS within Deta state namely, Aniocha South, Oshimilli South, Sapele, Isoko North, NdoKwa West, Ughelli South, Ughelli South and Patani. The CB0s implementing the project were equipped with knowledge, skills and resources needed to empower community members to take Ownership and invest in their own health. As à result, Several successes are consistently being recorded. Some of the most recent achievements are as follows:1. Purchase and installation of electricity line from generator to water pumping machine at Oyede Primary Health Care in Isoko North LGA2. Purchase and donation of SPHYGMOMANOMETER at Ofuoma PHC in Ughelli North LGA3. Connection of electricity to Ogbe Ogume PHC in Ndokwa West LGA from pubiic power supply.4. Facilitating the distribution of LLIN to qualified clients at Ogbe-Ogume PHC in Ndokwa west LGA.5. Donation and installation of Window Nets at Umute PHC in Aniocha South LGA. power supply6. A signpost was installed at Ekrerhavwen PHC in Ughelli North LGA, also the water pump in the facility was repaired, thereby making water available in the facility.Soliciting for the support of the Mass Media and stakeholders, Uwede said in order to contribute to the promotion and sustenance of these gains, ACOMIN is calling on the mass media to do the following.1. Advocate for government at all levels to increase their budgetary allocations to malaria in particular and health in general.2. Educate the general public on the need to imbibe malaria prevention practices as a lifestyle.3. Advocate for the involvement and contribution of communities, philanthropists and the private sector in malaria interventions.4. Advocate for CLM to be adapted into other sectors outside health and for other donors to invest into this.5. Advocate for government to as a matter of urgency, address the issue of shortage of health care workers in the state.6. In view of the security situation in the country, advocate for provision of perimeter fencing and security staff at all facilities to enable 24 hrs service delivery.