Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
A million children have been administered with malaria prevention drugs in Borno State by the state government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its partners.
There has been a prevalence of malaria in Borno State especially during the rainy season, and the same malaria prevention drug on children in the state reduced the mortality ratio due to the disease, according to Dr. Chima Onuekwe, the WHO Field Communication Officer in Borno.
Speaking to journalists at the El-Miskin internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) camp, one of the designated points for the administration of the drug in Jere Local Government of Borno State, Onuekwe said the exercise followed the success of last year’s malaria prevention drug administration in the state where four drug administration cycles were introduced.
Onuekwe, who revealed that four cycles had been effected in the state with a million children between the ages of three and 59 months treated, said the ongoing exercise was the second cycle which runs through August 23 through August 26.
The WHO communication expert while disclosing that the exercise covered 11 local government areas of the state, said a million children benefited from the exercise during each of the four cycles, noting that the exercise was conducted by WHO, assisted by its partners, in conjunction with the Borno State Government.
He said the 11 local governments covered during the exercise included Guzamala, Kukawa, Mobbar, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Jere, Mafa, Damboa, Dikwa, Kala-Balge, Bama and Nganzai.
The WHO Public Health Officer, Dr. Hassan Bala, while explaining the reason behind the house to house administration of the drug, said the turnout was impressive, adding that he hoped that the exercise would reduce cases of malaria.
He said WHO intends to reduce the cases of malaria prevalence and mortality in Borno State with the exercise.
In a similar development, WHO in partnership with its partners and in conjunction with the Borno State Government has commenced massive campaign against cholera.
The WHO Community Health Champions in Borno State, Raymond Pagu weekend said the group was currently sensitising communities in the state on hygienic living in order to stem cholera epidemic.
Pagu, who lamented that cases of acute water diarrhoea have been reported, said it is heartwarming that no case of cholera outbreak has so far been recorded.
He said: “We have been to Gwozari, Madinati, Kerawa and Shuwari wards to sensitise the people on hygienic living and give them water purification tablets and oral rehydration therapy (ORT) drugs.”