Relief Service (CRS) and National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) recently
conducted a research synergy for National Assembly Members (NAMs) on malaria elimination.
The study was held at NAM’s building in Banjul and was attended by officials of the Ministry of Health, NAMs and other dignitaries.
Catholic Relief Service head of country office Ousman Njie said malaria is still a major public health problem in The Gambia, saying it is endemic and puts the whole population at risk of infections, and transmissions mostly occurring in the latter stage of the rainy season.
He said the phenomenon is triggered by favourable ecological and climatic factors (notably fresh water swamps, alluvial soils, rice fields, temperatures and sunlight) for transmission to continue despite ongoing interventions in the country.
“Significant global progress has been made to reduce morbidity and mortality due to malaria. As a global community, we cannot afford to cede the hard fought gains in the battle to control and eliminate this devastating mosquito borne disease. CRS as a partner and ordinarily a representative of the Civic Society Organization in the study, reaffirms and renews our long-standing commitment and contribution to this noble and global movement against malaria.”
Mr. Njie assured that CRS will continue to collaborate with the government especially MOHSW to raise funds; support capacity building programmes; bring technology and innovation to optimize programming and be a resource for sharing experiences and best practices.
He stated that malaria cases are the most intriguing global health stories of the time, resulting from smart investment and strong partnership that have resulted in dramatic progress against malaria in the past 15 years. He said working together as actors, dedicated partners; organizations and communities has afforded reaching many people with effective strategies and intervention which include; vector control with long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), Seasonal Malaria Chemo prevention (SMC), indoor residual spraying (IRS) and more.
Representative of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Minority Leader Samba Jallow said it is common knowledge that malaria is a major public health menace in the country which surely requires individual and collective action. He said investing in malaria elimination initiative is about saving lives and reaping far reaching benefits for the country.
“The Gambia has made significant progress in the fight against Malaria which classified us among few countries in Africa with potentials to eliminate the disease. It is also gratifying that The Gambia received two awards in a row in 2018, from African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) in Ethiopia and most recently during the commonwealth summit in UK, received by the president.”
He said they are embarking on a new chapter in the fight against Malaria, which they hope would ultimately see it eliminated in The Gambia.
Balla Kandeh from the Ministry of Health suggested that there should be increment in funding and contribute more in fighting Malaria, saying The Gambia is among the fourth country to fight malaria across the sub region.