As part of efforts to eradicate malaria from Nigeria, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals and health experts have urged Nigerians to clean up stagnant water in their environment to put malaria, a disease caused by anopheles mosquito, at bay.
They made the call at the one-thousand man walk in Lagos to commemorate World Malaria Day, with the theme ‘End malaria for good’.
According to the Marketing Manager, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mr Olufemi Ayekun, malaria kills over 500,000 people yearly across the world, adding that more than one person die every minute from the scourge the World Health Organisation has said was preventable.
He also advocated a clean environment devoid of stagnant water and dirt. “We must clear our environment to stop mosquitoes from breeding. In Lagos, we must do something about canals that are opened. People should stop throwing their wastes, especially nylon into channels that water should be flowing through. All these are breeding areas for mosquitoes,” he added.
Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ayekun said people should have a malaria test, which is the gold standard for treating the disease.
“The government should declare a war against malaria because mosquitoes bit people in the car, at offices and even in their homes. The disease is everywhere in the country,” he said.
A consultant at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr Omolola Salako said people need to take care of their environment by getting rid of stagnant water, which promotes breeding of mosquitoes. “They should also test for malaria before they are treated. This is because there are many diseases, which present as fever. So, people must be sure its malaria before taking their medications,” she said.
Also lending her voice, a nollywood diva, Foluke Daramola, said many people see malaria as a common illness, adding that this is untrue. “We are walking to make people aware of the danger associated with coming down with the disease. When the common man see what we are doing, they might take the issue of malaria more seriously,” she said.
An advocate for better healthcare, Eniola Salu, said many lives were lost to malaria daily.
She said malaria has continued to thrive because of poor environment sanitation, adding that people need to change their attitude to the environment so that it can be totally eradicated.