26th June, 2011
Lagos State has adopted a multi prong approach with emphasis on evidence based research for policy formulation and programming in a new method to tackle the scourge of malaria in the state, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile has stated.
Olugbile, who made this known over the weekend at a Malaria Education/Quiz competition for schools in the state as part of activities marking this yearâ€™s World Malaria Day, recalled that a Malaria Control Research Technical and Advisory Committee (LASMATAC) comprising of members from various institutions has been inaugurated with the responsibilities of identifying strategies for tackling malaria using research as the tools for its control; developing guidelines and protocols for funding of the research proposals; harnessing the possibilities of collaborating with major Stakeholders; and determining the priority action for malaria control in the state.
He explained that government has been working on different modalities to make malaria treatment and prevention accessible and affordable to all the citizens even at the grassroots level hence government has adopted the first line drug for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria â€“Artemisinin based Combination Therapy (ACTs) which are provided free in all public health facilities.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that other invention methods adopted by the state government includes Integrated Vector Management (IVM), the promotion of the use of Long Lasting Insecticides Treated Nets (LLIN), Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS); Larvicide applications and environmental management; intermittent preventive treatment for the prevention of malaria during pregnancy (MIP) with linkages to other cross cutting issues such as focused operational research, monitoring, evaluation and advocacy, community and social mobilization. He noted that the first malaria Education/Quiz competition for six schools from Kosofe, Ikeja and Agege local government areas is to provide the pupils with current and relevant health information and education on malaria in a very simplified form so that the pupils would be able to identify with the strategies for the prevention and control of malaria in the state.
Said he, â€œyour invitation to be part of this event was based on the need to develop and mentor Malaria Control Ambassadors who shall serve as change agents in homes and communities and as such you shall be responsible for ensuring that your schools and home environments are always kept clean.
” You should inform and insist that all members of your families sleep under insecticide treated nets every nights; you should wear long sleeved shirts and trousers when staying outdoors in the evenings, inform your parents to prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around the house by burying empty tins and abandoned tyres, covering pot-holes and water storage containers.â€
Olugbile pointed out that the quiz will also engender the young ones to informed behavioral change which will eventually accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and also reduce the burden of malaria adding that primary education is the foundation of knowledge hence there is need to continuously provide relevant health information and education for them as they are still young and receptive to new ideas thus serving as change agents to their individuals, families, communities and the greater society.