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URR strengthens cross-border surveillance for malaria

Aug 8, 2017, 11:15 AM | Article By: Bruce Asemota from Basse

The reduction of malaria in the Upper River Region is due to the strengthening of cross-border health surveillance system with Senegal, said Lamin Ceesay, regional health director in the Upper River Region.

“The situation of malaria in the region has gone down drastically due to several intervention strategies such as Indoor Residue Spraying (IRS) and Seasonal Malaria Chemo Prevalence (SMC),” the regional director said in an exclusive interview with The Point at his office in Basse.

Mr Ceesay said the vulnerable groups to malaria infection are pregnant women and children under the age of five.

He further said that plans are underway to ensure the distribution of bed nets and SMC campaign in the eastern part of the country.

In URR, according to a case study conducted in 2010/2011, malaria prevalence was at 4.4 per cent but a further study in 2014 showed that it has reduced to 0.1 per cent.

Ceesay said the reduction could be due to the fact that a lot of efforts were employed, besides IRS and SMC, in the control and prevention of malaria.

The other efforts, he said, included environmental management, surveillance, case management, and administration of 3 IPT to pregnant women to prevent the severity of malaria.

“The Gambia is going to be the first country in the continent to eliminate malaria from its shores,” he said as recent research reports indicate that the country is progressing towards the elimination stage of malaria.

The URR regional health director however said the successes registered by The Gambia could not have been achieved without the support of partners such as The Global Fund, Catholic Relief Service, and The Gambia government amongst others.