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Commemorating World Malaria Day

Apr 27, 2012, 2:23 PM

The Gambia Wednesday joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Malaria Day. This year’s celebration, which brought together people from all walks of life, was held in Bwiam village in the West Coast Region.

Malaria is a serious threat to our national development. Our health is our wealth in The Gambia. A strong population free of the scourge of sickness will work far more effectively to keep our nation on the road to development.

In launching the Operation Eradicate Malaria a few years ago, Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy stated that the ultimate goal of the campaign was a disease-free Gambia.

She added that its objectives in the short and medium term are to increase the understanding and management of non-communicable diseases, and reduce the burden of communicable diseases to a level that will cease to be a public problem.

This is a most welcomed move, but a mammoth task.

It will require massive organisation and a continuous and sustained concentration of resources, if it is to be achieved.

There have been great strides made in the fight against malaria in recent times.

The Abuja targets set for the use of insecticide-treated bednets used by children and pregnant women is a very laudable one.

However, we must aim for 100% insecticide-treated bednet use by the population of The Gambia.

We must stay in the forefront in Africa, in fighting this disease.

As has been the norm over the years, the government, before the deluge of the rainy season hits, must redouble the public education campaigns with regards to the life cycle and breeding habits of the mosquito.

Stagnant water must become a thing of the past, if it can be avoided. If people are educated to take simple, yet very effective steps, then the positive trends can continue into the future.

By working together we can make this terrible disease a thing of the past, and save future generations of Gambians from losing loved ones, including breadwinners.

We would like to commend the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through the National Malaria Control Program and other partners, for their tireless efforts in the fight against malaria.

This, no doubt, is a difficult task, but together we can surely Wave Goodbye to Malaria.

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