Reporter – AMECHI ODO
Ebonyi State Government in collaboration with a Health partner, Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa, has distributed long lasting insecticide treated nets to about one thousand indigent pregnant and nursing mothers in the state.
During the event at Ivo Local Government Headquarters Isiaka, the Executive Secretary Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Catherine Oko, explained that the distribution was to reduce malaria infection among women and children in the hinterlands.
According to 2020 World Malaria Report, Nigeria has the highest number of global malaria cases at 27% and accounts for the highest number of global deaths at 23% with pregnant women and children under five years the most vulnerable.
Dr. Oko explained that the partnership was to ensure that pregnant women had unfettered access to malaria prevention commodities at Primary Health Centres.
She called on the beneficiaries not to misuse the nets given to them but ensure that they sleep under it to reduce mosquito infections and malaria related deaths.
‘’when a woman is pregnant and she has malaria, it leads to so many things like abortion, bleeding and like the child not growing well,’’ Dr. Oko said.
A representative of the Health Partner, Mr. Abayomi Alabi, had while sensitising the pregnant women noted that malaria was caused by Plasmodium falciparum and emphasised the need for them to register for antenatal care for routine medical checks and prompt treatment of the disease.
‘’Because when you register, the doctors will carryout test on you to know whether you have malaria and this is why we donated many of those things and mosquito nets help in the prevention of malaria,’’ he stated.
Two of the beneficiaries, who didn’t mention their names, called for more intervention in the prevention of malaria infection among pregnant women and promised to ensure judicious use of the nets.
‘’If you are visiting the hospital and taking care of yourself is a kind of keeping yourself safe from malaria.
“The head of the programme said the immune system use to be low when a pregnant woman has malaria,’’ they recounted.
Radio Nigeria observed that the women were also sensitized to vesico vagina fistula (VVF) while malaria preventive commodities were donated to Primary Health Centres in Ivo and Ikwo Local Government Areas.