The Ebonyi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezarike says the diagnosis and treatment of malaria is free in the state since the inception of the present administration.
He gave this information in reaction to an interview with Citizens’ Advocate in Abakaliki.
Dr. Umezurike who averred that malaria scourge was of great health concern to government globally opined that the Governor Dave Umahi led administration was battling it frontally.
He said, “Malaria is a disease of public health concern because it affects up to 7 million people annually and kills up to 500,000 people globally every year, and the majority of this number is from sub-Saharan Africa- and the majority from Nigeria.”
“It affects mostly the vulnerable groups: pregnant women, children under 5 years old. You can see why it is of public importance to us as a government because it affects the segment of the population we treasure most.”
The commissioner reiterated this as the reason for much energy being exerted in fighting the scourge.
He further said, “Much energy is expended to fight malaria through the control of the vector that transmits the disease, what we do is to control the contact between mosquito and human being through the use of long lasting insecticidal nets.”
“At the inception of this administration, we carried out a campaign where we distributed 1.7 million long lasting insecticidal nets, procured in partnership with USAID and MAPS and the lifespan of that insecticidal net is four years; which means, that we are due for another campaign.”
Dr. Umezurike also added that USAID, through the president malaria initiative (PMI) has also procured for distribution in Ebonyi State, another round of 1.7 million LLIN billed for distribution from November 9, 2019.
“Presently, we are doing all the pre-campaign activities – house to house mobilization and training at the state level and training at ward levels.”
Reacting to the reported inadequate coverage of the area mapped out for the net distribution by those distributing the net cards, the commissioner assured that all those yet to be issued the card would soon get them as the exercise is progressively on course.
“if I get any report of any area not adequately covered, people would be deployed to that area. Area mapping have been done. The exercise is still in progress. The persons not captured today may be captured tomorrow.”