Free malaria treatment for Badagry indigenes
… as Malaria Society takes campaign to riverine areas on World Malaria Day
As part of activities marking the 2017 Malaria World Day, members of the Malaria Society of Nigeria rolled out a two-day free treatment and sensitisation campaign for residents of Badagry in Lagos State.
The people also received medical attention for other ailments such as diabetes and hypertention as they were given free drugs and long lasting insecticide treated nets.
Addressing journalists during the activity on the choice of Badagry, the President Malaria Society of Nigeria, Sir Dr. John Babajide Puddicombe, said: “We brought it not just to Badagry but we brought it to a rural riverine village in Badagry called Tohon.
“Over the years we have done our programmes and many other groups have done their programmes in so many urban centers but we all know that the menace of malaria is higher in the rural areas especially the riverine areas compared with urban centers. That’s why we feel they need this awareness programme much more than the people in the urban and over the years nobody goes to the rural and riverine areas.
“We were here a week ago on advocacy visit to see the people that are in authority in this area that we are coming today. So we have started the awareness programme even last week and today, we have gone round five communities in this area, sensitizing and inviting them, That explains the great number you are seeing today. At the end of the day, everybody that takes part in this programme will get a net; those tested positive will be treated with ACT free of charge and there’s routine drugs for everybody,” he said.
“The good thing is that we haven’t limited this to malaria alone; the woman you see here is a known hypertensive case. So we are treating for hypertension and diabetes malaise but our primary focus is malaria but people will come with other challenges and we will not send them away, we will carry them along,” Dr. Puddicombe emphasized.
Surprisingly, the rate of malaria prevalence in the region according to the acting Head of Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition department of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR Dr Oluwagbemiga Aina, is unexpectedly low at 13.5%.
Dr. Aina however advised the people to always sleep inside the long lasting mosquito treated net.
“That’s the best thing they can do especially children under the age of five and pregnant women. All we need to do is use our nets and then probably do some exercise and make sure that our environments are clean, all the drainages are cleaned up and so on and so forth,” he said, while noting that the question of eradication of malaria in this part of the world might be a bit difficult because of the atmosphere and the growth of mosquitoes.
However,a delighted Baale of Tohon community, Chief Yeyiji Amos Adeoye Sottin, thanked the medical team for finding his community worthy of the selfless service. He further advised his people saying: “To seek first the kingdom of God and a healthy living. They just have to embrace a clean environment. A dirty environment encourages all manner of ailments. The first one has always been malaria, when they don’t clean their environment they are bound to subject themselves to the attacks and all kinds of diseases. They need to know that they just have to embrace clean environment as they say cleanness is next to Godliness,”Chief Adeoye Sottin said.