– As ACPN-AMEN offers free malaria screening
In continuation of its fight against the malaria scourge, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Ikotun Zone, recently joined forces with the Ojokoro Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State, to intensify action on elimination of malaria in Nigeria by holding an event which featured community engagement, awareness campaign, and free screening.
The programme, which was part of activities to mark this year’s World Malaria Day, tagged, “Zero Malaria Starts with Me,” was held at the Ojokoro LCDA Secretariat, Ijaiye, Lagos.
Expressing concern over the prevalence of malaria in the country, the Executive Chairman, Ojokoro LCDA, Hon. Hammed Idowu Tijani, who was represented by the Honourable Supervisor for Health, Hon. Busari Yisa Nosiru, noted that according to the United Nations (UN) declaration, more than 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas where there is a risk of contracting malaria, adding that his administration had recorded appreciable success in taking the lead role towards encouraging healthy living among people in the area.
“This has been demonstrated with the reconstruction of Isokan Primary Health Centre, equipped with sophisticated medical equipment and qualified personnel to attend to the medical needs of the people, particularly children and expectant mothers.
“Moreover, our administration has been committed to providing basic drugs with 24 hours efficient and effective service delivery at our various health centres, as well as regular immunisation and breast cancer screening just to mention a few”, he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief Medical Officer (CMD), Ojokoro LCDA, Dr (Mrs) R. A. Ogunyemi noted that the incumbent administration in the LCDA had renewed its commitment to tackling malaria, using public awareness programmes and consultations.
“As you are all aware, malaria is endemic in Lagos State and it poses a major challenge to the state as it impedes human development. It is both a cause and consequence of underdevelopment and remains one of the leading causes of morbidity in the state,” Ogunyemi said.
Speaking further, the Ojokoro CMD stated that World Malaria Day is an important event as it ensures that everybody is on the same page in the fight against malaria.
She advised members of the public to not just take malaria drugs because they feel feverish but to actually get tested before taking drugs, as not every case of fever is malaria.
Speaking with Pharmanews, the Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), AMEN Zone, Pharm. Taiwo Adewole, explained that the free medical screening and awareness were organised to have an impact on the communities where members of the association were practising, adding that community pharmacists were at the programme to showcase their presence to the people of the community as well as to partner with the LCDA in celebrating the World Malaria Day.
Beaming with excitement, he added: “The good news is that people are more enlightened about the precautions to take in order to avoid malaria and I am happy to tell you that all the participants cooperated with the speakers. This year’s theme “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”, is apt as it is an indication that people need to start working towards malaria prevention, rather than looking for treatment.”
Adewole further stated that the collaboration with the LCDA was born out of the need to reach the people by both the association and the leadership of the LCDA.
“Last year, we wrote to the chairman of the LCDA, requesting permission to use their multi-purpose hall for this event and after reading the letter, he decided that instead of just allowing us to use the hall, we should collaborate”, he explained.
In her lecture, titled “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”, Dr Omotayo Giwa of Clinton Health Access Initiative noted that the cosmopolitan nature of the state, people’s carefree attitude, as well as the abundant distribution of coastal areas, encourage the availability of stagnant water for the breeding of Anopheles mosquitoes, adding that this is responsible for the stable pattern and continuous transmission of malaria all year round.
Others in attendance at the event were Chief Olabejo Akinloye, Babaloja General of Ojokoro; Chief. M A Akintade, secretary, Community Development Committee; Alhaji M A. Kazeem, general secretary, CDC; Alhaji A A Amusat, chairman, CDC; Engr. S K Onipede, secretary, Ijokoro LCDA; Chief (Mrs) Basirat Ojugbele, supervisor for women affairs and poverty alleviation, LCDA, among others’