As part of efforts to curb the devastating effect of malaria on pregnant women and children, Mortein in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Health and National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) intensified its anti-malaria campaign to raise awareness on causes of malaria and how this heath challenge could be tackled. The campaign, part of activities to mark this year’s anti malaria day held in other states of the federation and across other African markets.
With an estimated death of 3000 children daily, and attendant devastating consequences on pregnant women and children, including learning impairments and brain damage, the fight against malaria has become more urgent.
Despite several anti-malaria initiatives in Nigeria, Malaria remains the number one cause of death in the country, ahead of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and stroke. Children under five and pregnant women account for about 85 per cent of these deaths. The picture for these children and expectant mothers look bleak, but with the continued effort by government at all levels, non- government and corporate organisations, the effect is being controlled.
Mortein, the non-toxic insecticide from the stables of Reckitt Benckiser, in continuation of its war against malaria, and in commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day (WMD), activated its anti-malaria campaign to further boost the fight against malaria in the state. With support from the malaria control department of the ministry, nurses and midwives and management staff of five of the state-owned General Hospitals in Ifako-Ijaiye, Gbagada, Lagos Island, Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Surulere as well as leadership of local governments, intensified anti malaria campaign to create awareness on causes and control.
Speaking at the event in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olufemi Olugbile who represented the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, enjoined residents to always maintain a clean environment by clearing their drains and drainage channels especially during this rainy season to stop stagnant waters, a breeding ground for mosquitoes. He assured of state of government’s commitment to sustain investment in healthcare, a panacea for avoidable deaths and illnesses.
Also speaking, Marketing Director, Reckitt Benckiser, Sanjay Kashyap said that the Mortein is partnering with relevant stakeholders in a bid to help implement health programmes and malaria control initiatives aimed at curbing malaria scourge. In his words “Reckitt Benckiser home, health and hygiene brands are sold in over 200 countries of the world. We are poised to provide innovative brands and foster partnerships that help build a healthier society.” He added that in order to be successful, the fight against malaria must be all-inclusive and comprehensive.
The two day event was a platform to educate pregnant women and mothers on how to take care of their homes and environment to prevent malaria attack. Maternity wards of select hospitals were also visited where mothers and their new born babies were presented with gifts. Five nursing mothers who delivered their babies on April 25 were named as lucky beneficiaries of five years’ supply of Mortein products. They were Mrs. Kayode Oluwatosin who delivered at the Ifako -Ijaiye General Hospital; Mrs. Bunmi Ogunbanwo, Gbagada General Hospital and Mrs. Uju Ezekwere, Ajeromi-Ifelodun General Hospital, Ajegunle; Mrs. Lateefat Lawal, Island Maternity and Mrs. Abiola Yusuf, Randle General Hospital, Surulere. Other nursing mothers at the hospitals also received gifts while they commended Reckitt Benckiser for the kind gesture.
Representatives of Reckitt Benckiser explained that the essence of the campaign was to impact lives and to encourage nursing mothers to have the right knowledge about how to protect themselves, babies and family members from malaria borne deaths. They added that increased communication with the primary target, that is pregnant and new mothers as well as their babies would boost credible word-of-mouth support to win the malaria fight.