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NewsACOMIN Tasks Media on Eliminating Malaria in Nigeria

ACOMIN Tasks Media on Eliminating Malaria in Nigeria

ACOMIN Tasks Media on Eliminating Malaria in Nigeria

 

By: Femi Mustapha

 

The Civil Society for Malaria Control, Immunization, and Nutrition (ACOMIN), Kaduna State Chapter, has called on the media to contribute to Nigeria’s goal of eliminating malaria.

During a media briefing on the Global Fund Malaria community-led monitoring project in Kaduna yesterday, Ogidi Nicodemus, the State Program Officer of ACOMIN, asserted this.

According to him, the media can contribute by exerting pressure on government ministries and agencies to scale up community-centered initiatives in their programs.

He added that the media can also assist in the fight against malaria by going the extra mile to encourage donors to increase their support for community-centered initiatives.

Citing the 2020 World Malaria report, which states that Nigeria has the highest number of global malaria cases and deaths, Nicodemus believes the media can help address the situation.

Nicodemus disclosed that as part of a national effort to address the challenges of malaria in Nigeria, ACOMIN is working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) on the ongoing Global Fund (GF) Malaria Grant to continue implementing the civil society component.

“The grant is presently being implemented in the thirteen GF-supported states, namely Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Kwara, Niger, Taraba, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Ogun, Osun, and Delta States.

“ACOMIN is using the Community-Led Monitoring approach to engage community stakeholders, enabling them to take ownership of health interventions, particularly regarding malaria. The approach involves identifying gaps hindering effective malaria service delivery, jointly prioritizing needs, and advocating for improvements in malaria healthcare delivery.

“This initiative has brought about many advantages to each of the communities/wards where the project is being implemented, including increased ingenuity, innovation in tackling challenges, identifying and addressing the root causes of failed interventions, and enhanced accountability and ownership, among others.

The community-led initiative being implemented by ACOMIN has achieved the following successes in 2023:

Facilitated the construction of benches and the fixing of a borehole for 24-hour service at Turaki Buga Memorial Hospital, Kaura LGA, by community stakeholders.

Facilitated the construction of seats for the ANC unit at PHC Sabon Gari, Kudan LGA, through community efforts.

Raised awareness about the availability of free malaria services, resulting in increased patronage at Health Clinic Samban Daji, Jaba LGA.

Facilitated the repairs of Health Clinic Dusai ward ceiling and the fixing of their borehole through community efforts in Kaura LGA,” he said.

Earlier, Diji Haruna Obadiah, the State Chairman of ACOMIN, explained that malaria is a serious disease that can be life-threatening. He added that it can be prevented and treated, but if not diagnosed and treated promptly, it can progress to a severe, often fatal form.

Diji stressed that malaria is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person but is spread by female mosquitoes of the Anopheles species.

“Climate plays a role in the transmission of malaria. In Nigeria, there is a connection between weather patterns and the occurrence of malaria. The country experiences high levels of rainfall between June and September, leading to an increase in the mosquito population and, in turn, increased malaria transmission during these humid months.”

Diji enumerated various initiatives deployed to fight malaria in the country, including the provision of free, long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and the deployment of volunteers for interpersonal communication at the grassroots level, among others. He noted that it is no longer news that Nigeria still has a long way to go to achieve control of this deadly disease.

He urges all stakeholders to advocate for more funding for the disease. However, he listed the challenges confronting malaria intervention, such as difficulty in accessing hard-to-reach communities due to insecurity in many parts of the country and drug resistance by the malaria parasite.

While appreciating the support of the state government through the Primary Health Care Development Agency in ACOMIN’s activities, he stressed the need for collective efforts to reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state and the country as a whole.

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