19 August 2013

Gambia: Combating Malaria


Despite massive nationwide campaigns and distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide bed Nets (LLINs) to residents, malaria still remains a serious health problem in the country.

Malaria a serious health burden in the country claims a lot of lives annually, thus fighting it requires collective efforts.

Since we are in the malaria season, our advice for people is that, when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened room, they need to have an insecticide-treated mosquito net around their bed. This significantly reduces the risk of bites.

The net should be small-meshed, with no holes, and tucked in under the bottom sheet.

Change of attitude is also important, and people should avoid overstaying outside chatting without covering their body.

Cleaning our environment by removing all standing water in around us, cutting grassy areas and removing dead and decaying leaves will also help in malaria control.

We urge people to continue cleaning their environment, in order to reduce the spread of malaria.

The killer disease requires concerted efforts in tackling it, and people must take the lead role.

The Gambia has registered significant strides in the control and prevention of malaria in the country, through the change of treatment policy and the provision of the anti-malarial drug called coartem.

This drug is available in all public health facilities. However, despite all the gains registered in the fight against malaria, it is clear that much more needs to be done to ensure a malaria-free society.

We hope and pray that the gains registered in the campaign to control malaria will continue, and that with the help of the media we can count out malaria once and for all.

Malaria is a major killer-disease, and thus deserves our respect.

Research has revealed that, every year, between 350 and 500 million people get infected, and one million die, as a result of malaria, predominantly insub-Saharan Africa.

The scourge of malaria is a threat to our national development.

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