Only 32% of Rivers people sleep inside mosquito nets – Commissioner


* As Rivers achieve 7.3 malaria prevalence

By Gladys Nweke

Only 32 per cent of Rivers people sleep inside mosquito nets, so said the Commissioner of health, Prof Princewill Chike.

This is as the Ministry of Health fights to eliminate malaria completely. Now, the public has been urged to use mosquito treated nets to stop the malaria scourge.

Professor Chike, who stated this while flagging off the world malaria day celebration with a malaria clinic and malaria fair at the state secretariat, pointed out that children under five years of age and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to malaria.

He added that people must be tested before treatment by qualified and trained health personnel as not all fever is malaria.

He said Rivers State has achieved a modest of 7.3 percent malaria prevalence which is a near transition to the expected pre-elimination target of five percent. “There is 75 percent ownership of nets in the state but only 32 per cent utilization, so people should sleep inside insecticide treated nets to achieve minimal success.

“The state government has put in so much effort in intervention strategies to fight malaria elimination, people should access safer treatment in health facilities and pregnant women are encouraged to register for antenatal and take their malaria preventive drugs during pregnancy.”

Also speaking, state malaria program manager, Dr Mina Jaja, urged individuals, private sectors, and civil societies to join hands with the ministry of health to stop the killer malaria across the state, stressing that not all fever is caused by malaria.

Some beneficiaries who spoke to our reporter thanked the ministry for the free malaria fair that availed them the opportunity to be tested and treated.