Gambia: 'Malaria Is Responsible for Many Deaths in Gambia'

10 November 2020

Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the minister for Health says malaria is responsible for lots of deaths in The Gambia both in children and adults.

"In recent, we have seen a spike in the incidents of malaria across the length and breadth of the country which is usual after heavy rains. We have known the mortality and mobility that's caused by malaria in our communities. Malaria is responsible for lots of deaths in The Gambia both in children and in adults," he stated.

Minister Samateh was speaking yesterday at the McCarthy Square in Banjul during the launching of the Fogging Machine provided by the Ministry of Health, through the National Malaria Control Programme in collaboration with the Banjul City Council.

"We are delighted to be part of the launching of the fogging machine that's supposed to spray the city of Banjul and other villages and towns in the country in order to get rid of mosquitoes and other flying insects."

"We can all attest to the fact that this year the rains have been very heavy which led to high yield in crop production but it also has other side effects; that's perforations and more procreation of mosquitoes thereby increase the incidents of malaria."

Malaria, he went on, is a dreadful disease that needs to be tackled, adding that The Gambia has done very in dealing with malaria. 'We are working very hard to eliminate malaria from the shores of this country.'

"However, we can't do that without dealing with the vectors of the plasmodium that's the mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there's lots of breeding grounds for mosquitoes in Banjul and in the entire country, but as the drainage system is improving especially in Banjul we want to complement the efforts of the government to deal with the vectors themselves."

He recalled that Banjul used to have such a machine and that the city used to be sprayed in the evening. "This disappeared for some years. However, we thought the good thing of the past must comeback, because it works for our country, hence we need to bring it back for the good of our people."

"Improving the country's health sector, Samateh said, is the top priority of the government. Gambia needs to get better and there's no other choice. The health sector needs to get better and the cities need to get better, the roads, electricity and water supply all need to get better, but nobody can do it for us from somewhere else."

"This has to be done by ourselves, so we need to come together as a country and collaborate with the government to give the people what they deserve. The people of this country deserve a high standard of living and I'm sure it's doable. It just needs to take some ideas and minds to come together and the collaboration of the communities."

"We want to assure the people of this country and the people of Banjul that public health is going to be at the forefront of the stride of this government in order to provide quality health services delivery for the people of this country. Very soon we will see the health inspectors inspecting our compounds, markets and public places including the streets in order to make sure that our cities are clean and functional. The machine is equally very important for the fumigation of covid-19."

Omar B. Touray, deputy mayor of Banjul City Council (BCC), underscored the importance of the machine, adding that it has come at the right time. "I am happy that this initiative is starting in the Capital City. Malaria is a dangerous disease and it's with us every day. Therefore, we need to work together to eliminate malaria from the country."

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