Ondo State Government has reiterated its commitment to reducing malaria scourge in the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Ajaka, stated this while addressing newsmen as part of the activities marking the 2023 World Malaria Day on Tuesday in Akure.
The theme for this year’s Day is: “Time to Deliver Zero Malaria.”
Ajaka expressed concern that malaria had become a burden to some countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
He said that statistics had shown that the disease constituted more than 60 per cent of all medical cases presented at health facilities in the sub-region.
According to him, malaria is also responsible for 30 per cent death of children under the age of five and 10 per cent death of pregnant women yearly due to its complications.
The commissioner said that the state government had, in the past, distributed about three million insecticide-treated nets to all the households in the 18 local government areas (LGAs) in the state to reduce malaria prevalence.
He said that the state had continued to do follow-up to ensure increased utilisation of the insecticide-treated nets in homes, especially among pregnant women and children under the age of five.
“The follow up has yielded result, as evidenced by the newly-released report by National Malaria Indicator Survey, 2021, released in 2023.
“It shows that the prevalence of malaria in the state has fallen from 34 per cent to 27 per cent.
“Government will continue to invest in the reduction of prevalence of malaria in the state through channeling more resources, both funds and materials, to the fight,’’ he said.
The commissioner also said government would bring in new ideas in combating the scourge and put into action all the ideas that had been put in place.
“Government has been partnering with civil society organisations across the 18 LGAs to sensitise and create awareness to the citizens at the grassroots on the prevention of malaria,” he said.
Ajaka appreciated the partners that had been working to reduce malaria prevalence in the state, especially World Health Organisation (WHO).
Others, he said, included: Malaria Consortium, John Hopkins University of Programme Implementation Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO) and National Malaria Elimination Programme, Abuja.
The commissioner called for more international partnership to enhance collective malaria elimination in the state.