Vanguard (Lagos)

29 March 2011

Nigeria: Malaria - Lagos State Govt Reaches 15,000 Homes With IRS

To stem the incidence of malaria infections, the Lagos State government has reached an estimated 60,000 rooms in 15,000 households in the course of its on-going Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise in three LGAs of the state.

The exercise began in February at Ojo LGA. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, observed that malaria constitutes over 70 per cent of out-patient attendance in public health facilities in the State while about 400,000 cases of illness were reported .

Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) is the process of spraying dwellings with a diluted insecticide to kill mosquitoes. The solution is sprayed on the inside walls and the mosquitoes are killed or repelled, preventing the transmission of the disease.

According the World Health Organisation (WHO), IRS remains a valuable intervention in malaria control as it reduces the survival of malaria vectors entering houses or sleeping units. But experts have maintained that IRS would only remain valuable when conditions such as high percentage of the structures in an operational a arhave adequate spraying surfaces and can be expected to be well sprayed.

Conducting journalists around three LGAs and nine other Local Council Development Agencies (LCDAs) of the State, Director for Disease Control in Lagos, Dr Olufemi Taiwo said the exercise which is in line with the State's policy of preventive healthcare, is renewable after six months.

Persons who experience allergies such as sneezing, coughing, and tingling sensations should report immediately to the nearest health facility.

He recalled that a Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping of the areas and a baseline entomological study were conducted to generate information on mosquito behaviour and susceptibility to the different insecticides, as well as knowledge, attitude and practices of people on malaria prevention, control and treatment, among others.

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