Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken malaria prevention treatment to 13 local government areas of Borno State where over 1.1 million children are targeted.
Flagging off the exercise, which is in collaboration with the Borno State Government on Saturday, WHO revealed that the campaign is targeted at children between three and five years.
The WHO State Coordinator in Borno State, Dr. Audu Musa, lamented that malaria is responsible for more than 50 per cent of recorded deaths in the country, noting that WHOâ€™s current data shows that children under the age of five are more vulnerable to malaria.
He said the exercise, which runs between July 14 and 17, will be conducted in 13 of the 27 local government areas of the state, carefully selected.
He advised residents to avoid stagnant water in their surroundings, saying that such is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, the major carriers of malaria.
He said: â€Let us not allow any stagnant water around us to avoid breeding of mosquitoes, the carriers of malaria disease. We should also contribute in eradicating malaria by keeping our environments clean.â€
The Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima appreciated the untiring efforts of WHO to see that the programme of roll back malaria is successful in the state.
Shettima, who was represented by the deputy governor, Usman Durkwa, said: â€œIt is expected that the anti-malaria drug administrators will be visiting households to administer the first dose of the four cycle with hope to reduce the trend of illness due to malaria in Borno.â€
He said: â€œIn early July 2017, the first four month cycles of mass drugs administration was launched and more than 800,000 children under the age of five in Borno State were reached and that was the first time a malaria campaign was conducted in the state.â€
He said the state government will continue to partner with WHO and other health-related partners to see to the success of the programme.
WHO has rendered several supports in immunisation such as polio, measles, celebrospinal meningitis, surveillance against noticeable diseases that made response very effective in the state.
He said: â€WHO has also assisted the state government in providing health services to the inaccessible areas and training of our health personnel.â€
He commended the good work of the Borno State Ministry of Health and its parastatals in working hard to close the immunisation gaps, as well as delivery of services to the teeming population.