Jul 21, 2015, 10:26 AM
The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) yesterday briefed journalists from the print and electronic media on the upcoming World Malaria Day commemoration, at a press briefing held at the NMCP offices in Kanifing.
This year’s commemoration will take place in Ballanghar village in the Central River Region on 25th April 2013 on the theme, "Invest in the Future, Defeat Malaria."
Speaking at the press briefing, Dawda Ceesay, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, said World Malaria Day is a day for recognising global efforts towards providing effective control of malaria.
According to him, the day is an opportunity for countries to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up their work, learn from each other, support each other’s efforts and renew donors’ support, through a global partnership against malaria.
Noting that simple cost effective solutions to the malaria burden exist, he said, they include early diagnosis and prompt treatment using effective anti-malaria, prevention of malaria in pregnancy, through intermitted preventive treatment, using sulphadoxine- pyrimenthamine (fansider) and use of insecticide treated nets to kill or repel mosquitoes before they bite.
"Therefore, the members of the press can help in great deal in advocacy, social mobilisation campaigns and showcase the efforts made against combating the disease," he stated.
For his part, Dr. Thomas Sukuwa, WHO Country Representative told the gathering that, WMD is an occasion to harmonise global, regional, national and country-level advocacy efforts towards maintaining progress in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and control of malaria.
He said malaria is found on every continent and in almost every country in the world, noting that today over 90 countries are malaria-free.
In addition, he said, 50 countries are on the track to reduce malaria incidence rates by 75% by 2015.
According to him, these achievements demonstrate that the fight against malaria is one of our best investments in the global health.
"2013 is a critical year for malaria financing. We now have the opportunity to work towards ending malaria once and for all, and with sustained funding we can continue to progress towards ending malaria deaths. But without it gains could be quickly reversed, putting millions of lives at risk, hence the slogan invest in the future defeat malaria."
Balla Kandeh, Deputy Programme Manager for NMCP said the briefing clearly demonstrates the level of partnership established over the years by the Ministry of Health and the NMCP.
Noting that this partnership has been, and remains strong in The Gambia, he stressed that there is a need for other sectors to join and help in the fight against malaria.
Kandeh urged all stakeholders to redouble their efforts in the fight against malaria by nurturing and strengthening the partnership.