#Editorial

Malaria cases to increase in Gambia!

Jun 3, 2020, 1:19 PM

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has sounded the alarm with the release of its recent annual rainfall forecast, predicting a surge in malaria cases as high temperatures, high relative humidity (above 60%) rainfall and thick vegetation cover provides fertile grounds for the survival of the vectors and development of the parasites.

The department in its latest annual rainfall forecast, published on Tuesday edition, predicted that The Gambia this year expects above normal rainfall, which indeed is good news.

This release is not only scaring but reminds us about efforts The Gambia has made in its strides to eradicate the parasite.

Suffice it to state that The Gambia has been credited as one of seven countries in the West African sub-region that has made accelerated progress towards malaria elimination. This progress is being made due to its active regional coordination framework and to build a platform aimed at coordinating and providing technical support toward malaria elimination.

Though, malaria is still widespread in some African and Asian nations and World Health Organisation in one of its reports, has considered it endemic in 76 countries globally.

Now to reduce the risk of water-related diseases (cholera, malaria, diarrhoea in wet or flooded areas, the department strongly recommends awareness raising on climate-sensitive diseases and vaccinate people and animals as well as encourage the use of mosquito nets, set up stocks of anti-malarial measures. Providing stocks of medicines in hard-to-reach areas after floods and strengthening the capacities of national health systems and disaster risk reduction platforms will play a great role.

Let’s bear in mind that we have come a long way in the fight against malaria in The Gambia. And we cannot afford to sit and see that hard fought victory just go in vain.

We must bear in mind that malaria used to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children in The Gambia.

Therefore, it is time for government to boost investments in malaria prevention and supports Ministry and its partners in totally eliminating and ending malaria for good.

With the required resources, and support of all partners united, we can transform our common vision into a shared reality.

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