From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Even as it continues to battle the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, Kano state government in collaboration with Malaria Consortium, has earmarked over N3 billion to wage steady war against malaria in the state.
The renewed war against malaria in the state was unveiled in Bichi Emirate headquarters when Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje flagged-off Seasonal Malaria Prevention and Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Week.
Ganduje who recalled how the state has been combating the COVID-19 pandemic, insisted other illnesses need attention.
Ganduje assured that his administration would do everything humanly possible to eradicate Malaria in the state, “which is one of the health problems disturbing societies of tropical Africa. We cannot afford to lose this fight against Malaria.”
Ganduje who spoke at the Palace of Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, said the programme will run simultaneously across the five Emirate Councils in the state, adding that residents, particularly women and children across the 44 Local Government Areas of the state should be captured.
He further stated that to avoid sole concentration on COVID-19 pandemic at the expense of all other illnesses and in driving effective response, it became necessary to wage war against Malaria, just as he pledged continued support and development for the health sector.
According to him, “it is glaring that global attention is turned to COVID-19 pandemic. We are witnessing the same situation across the country. This, we think should be revisited. That is why we are coming up with this and similar programmes. We need to also give our attention to other illnesses.
“This programme is aimed at saving our pregnant women and children. Pregnant women should bring themselves for this opportunity and bring forth their children. People should cooperate with government to improve healthcare system.”
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa said that, “there are estimated 219 million cases of Malaria worldwide. Most of these cases were in African region, with an estimated 200 Million making up to 92% of global cases.
“In 2017 five countries accounting for nearly half of all Malaria cases worldwide were in Africa. And Nigeria alone is contributing 25% of the global burden, with most childhood malarial disease and deaths occurring in the Sahel sub-region.”
He further explained that, “the MNCH Week will be conducted in all the 44 LGAs in Kano state in four cycles of 4 days per months, from July to October, 2020. The exercise entails administration of Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine plus Amodiaquine (SPAQ) to children of 3 to 59 months,and therefore targeted 2,835,462 children in the state.”
Dr. Tsanyawa, however, commended Ganduje for his special attention to the health sector, saying that, “at this juncture, I wish to most sincerely thank His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR for his immense support to Polio eradication.
“Particularly, the significant role he played in reversing the trend of Polio transmission in Kano state since his days as Deputy Governor. This exemplary leadership and commitment has placed Kano on high pedestal and celebrated worldwide.”