Dec 18, 2008, 4:19 AM
Heavy rains in and around the country these days are a clear indication that people should be prepared to fight against the killer-disease, malaria, which becomes most prevalent during the rainy season.
Malaria is one of the leading causes of death in Africa, and those most affected are children under the age of five and pregnant women.
It does not know whether a person is rich or poor. So being prepared to fight it, especially during this period, should be a priority.
People, especially pregnant women and children, should sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets, as they are the most vulnerable to the scourge of this killer-disease.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called plasmodium, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect the red blood cells.
Our health facilities should be on the alert, as malaria and other related diseases are common during this period. There should be enough medicines available for patients at all times.
Reports have shown that in every 30 second, an African child dies because of malaria.
More attention should be given to the Abuja Declaration, which was passed by 53 African heads of state in April 2000, to intensify their efforts in the fight against malaria.
The declaration should not be left like that. The battle should be intensified to save the lives of many African children and women.
The target by the leaders was to ensure 60 percent of all those at risk of malaria, particularly children under five years and pregnant women, sleep under insecticide-treated nets by 2010.
Another target was to ensure benefits from the most suitable combination of personal and community protective measures, such as insecticide treated mosquito nets and other interventions which are affordable to prevent infection and suffering.
“Right now there is about as much global interest in malaria as I’ve ever seen. Can it be sustained? I don’t know. But it will need to be if we want to get anywhere in this fight.”