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NMCP sensitise journalists

Dec 8, 2009, 3:16 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) last Friday held a day-long sensitisation for media practitioners on malaria control.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the NMCP hall in Kanifing, Pa Modou Faal, the President of the Association of Health Journalists stated that journalists have a big role to play. He urged journalist to engage in research about malaria to help them in their sensitisation campaign.

According to him, the Association of Health Journalist in the country has been working as partners with the NMCP, noting that malaria is going down.

For his part, Balla Kandeh, Senior Programme Officer at the NMCP revealed that malaria is a disease caused by plasmodium parasite and transmitted through a bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito. He described malaria as one of the most serious and complex health problems facing humanity in the 21st Century.

"Malaria is present in 102 countries of the world and mainly present in tropical and sub-tropical countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia," he said.

He stated that malaria kills more than one million people each year mainly children under five years. Mr. Kandeh added that about 90% of the malaria deaths in the world occur in Africa, as malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds.

"Children and pregnant women remain highly vulnerable due to low immunity status," he said.

According to him, factors contributing to malaria burden range from drug resistance, insecticide resistance, environmental change, irrigation of rice fields, road construction and dams.

Also speaking earlier, Balla Gibba Programme Officer for Malaria Case Management stated that the way forward for malaria prevention is to mobilise resources to scale up and sustain inventions, increase government commitments to malaria prevention in order to boost the current health financing mechanism.