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Health centers, students observe World Malaria Day

By EMN Updated: Apr 26, 2019 1:45 am
A health officer addresses students during a World Malaria Day programme in Dimapur.

Dimapur, April 25 (EMN): World Malaria Day was observed across the districts of Nagaland with various activities and advocacy programmes to commemorate the day.
The event was observed in Dimapur district too with the slogan “Zero malaria starts with me.” In Dimapur district, rallies by school children were organized in all the blocks, a press release from the health establishment informed on Thursday.

The slogan of the 2019 World Malaria Day “Zero Malaria Starts with me” is a grassroots-level campaign which aims to empower the communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.

“Although remarkable progress has been made to reduce malaria cases and deaths; the toll of malaria remains high.
Therefore, to curb malaria, the participation of the communities and stakeholders is vital. Without the support of the communities, malaria cases will continue to remain high,” the press release stated.

The district vector borne officer for Dimapur, Dr. Imtiwabong, urged the participants of the rallies to keep their surroundings clean, remove stagnant water from their surroundings, and ‘unclog’ drains to avoid water stagnation, the updates stated.

Imtiwabong, no surname given, also urged citizens to remove objects and trash that may retain water near habitats.
He urged them to use LLIN-treated mosquito nets and to report any fever, and to get tested for malaria for early detection and complete treatment.

The medical officer informed that blood tests for malaria can be had in any government health unit, and in the rural areas and villages, from surveillance workers, ANMs and accredited social health activists or ASHA.

The test can also be done at the office of Urban Vector Borne Disease Scheme attached to the chief medical officer’s establishment for Dimapur.

A similar programme was conducted in Mokokchung district.
According to a report from the health establishment of the district, the event at Mokokchung was conducted at the Imkongmeren Sports complex.

Members of three schools, around 400 participants attended the event. At the inaugural programme health officer Dr Tiasunep, no surname given, highlighted the significance of the day and briefed the participants about malaria and how it spreads from person to person. The official emphasised on the need to keep surroundings clean to stop mosquito breeding.

The official also spoke about preventive measures, and the services and medicines that are available for free to the public at government health centres.

Similar programmes were conducted in all the four blocks of Mokokchung district, the updates stated.

Students in Phek go on a rally during the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program-organised campaign against malaria.

Updates from Phek also informed about a function to mark the event. The Phek National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) observed World Malaria Day on April 25. Students of various schools took a publicity rally from the deputy commissioner’s office junction to the clock tower.

Extra Assistant Commissioner Vithwel Kwelo addressed the event. In his speech, the updates informed, the officer said ‘as a community we should educate and disseminate information on the prevention of malaria to our neighbours and friends as malaria is preventable and curable.’ He called upon the community’s leaders and encouraged them: ‘Together let us join and fight to make Phek district a zero malaria district.’

A class-9 student Rhive-u, no surname given, gave a speech during the event on the slogan ‘Zero malaria starts with me,’ the updates stated.

Brief highlights about the signs and symptoms of malaria and the preventive measures that can be taken to counter them; and about the national framework for malaria elimination program was presented by district vector borne officer of Phek, Dr. Lanuakum, no surname given. He reminded the pastors, colony chairmen and community leaders to use mosquito nets, the updates stated.

In the Phek programmes for World Malaria Day too, rallies were conducted in all the blocks.

The establishment of the Tuensang chief medical officer also observed World Malaria Day in eight villages of eight blocks in the district on April 25. The establishment issued a press release on Thursday informing about the programme. A rally was also carried out by school students, the updates stated.

During a programme at new Chungliyimti village in Chare block, the district vector borne officer Tosoviho, no surname given, highlighted the targets set ‘by India’ to eliminating malaria by 2030 and about the efforts being made to prevent and reduce malaria cases.

The officer requested the participants and people the public also have to take the initiative with the department in order to prevent malaria. Church leaders, village council members, members of nongovernmental organisations, and students attended the event, the press release stated.

Educational institutions in Zunheboto also observed World Malaria Day.

The establishment of Zunheboto’s chief medical officer also issued a press release informing about a similar program. In commemoration of the day, a rally was undertaken in Zunheboto town where students participated.

Dr. CW Tungoe, chief medical officer, gave the key note address during the programme. He highlighted how malaria spread, the updates stated. He urged for community participation to publicise information about malaria. He was stated to have spoken about the preventive measures and services that are available to the people.

The citizens and participants were asked to keep their surroundings clean to reduce mosquito breeding and to prevent the spread of malaria, the press release stated.

World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every year on April 25 and recognizes global efforts to control malaria.

‘The WHO explains on its website the slogan for the 2019 event ‘Zero malaria starts with me’:
“After more than a decade of steady advances in fighting malaria, progress has levelled off. According to WHO’s latest World malaria report, no significant gains were made in reducing malaria cases in the period 2015 to 2017.

“The estimated number of malaria deaths in 2017, at 435 000, remained virtually unchanged over the previous year.
“Urgent action is needed to get the global response to malaria back on track – and ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria.

“On World Malaria Day 2019, WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the African Union Commission and other partner organizations in promoting ‘Zero malaria starts with me,’ a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.”

Since 2000, the WHO states, malaria-affected countries and their development partners have made remarkable progress in reducing the total number of malaria cases and deaths.

But the toll of malaria remains unacceptably high. Every two minutes, a child dies of this preventable and treatable disease. And each year, more than 200 million new cases of the disease are reported.

“WHO is particularly concerned by trends seen in recent years (since 2015). Our latest World malaria report shows that progress has levelled off and, in some countries, malaria is on the rise.

Two critical targets of our global malaria strategy are likely to be missed,” the organisation’s website states.
Changing the trajectory of current malaria trends will require stepped-up and coordinated action by all stakeholders.

But progress can only be achieved through malaria responses that are country-owned.

“As we mark this year’s World Malaria Day, WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the African Union Commission and other partner organizations in promoting ‘Zero malaria starts with me,’ a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and to empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.”

By EMN Updated: Apr 26, 2019 1:45:30 am