World Malaria Day (WMD) was celebrated on the 25th of April, 2014. It is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control the scourge of the deadly disease; Malaria. Each year, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partner organizations unite around a common World Malaria Day theme ‘Invest in the future: defeat malaria’, a three-year theme (2013-2015) – chosen to call attention to the need to channel more resources into Malaria interventions in order to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and defeat malaria in the near future.
According to the Nigerian National Malari Elimination Programme (NMEP), Malaria is responsible for 60% outpatient visits to health facilities, 30% childhood death, 25% of death in children under one year and 11% maternal death in Nigeria. Annual financial loss to Nigeria as a result of Malaria in the form of treatment costs, prevention and loss of man-hours has been estimated at 132billion Naira.
On the occasion of the 2014 World Malaria Day (WMD), ARFH actively participated at the WMD count down activities. The WMD Town Hall Meeting was held on the 23rd of April 2014 at LEA Primary school inDutseAlhaji, a densely populated community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The event had in attendance, Royal Father, The Hakimi, of DutseAlhaji Community, National Coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme Dr. NnennaEzeigwe and several RBM partners. Free Malaria testing and treatment of confirmed Malaria cases took place and Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets were distributed to pregnant women. ARFH also facilitated an extensive social media engagement which mobilized spotlight on the national efforts towards malaria elimination. Town Hall Meeting was preceded by a sanitation exercise conducted on the 22nd of April in Dutse-Alhaji community.
ARFH also supported the National Programme to commemorate World Malaria Day on the 25th of April at the Women Development Centre, Umuahia, Abia State at an event chaired by His Excellency, Chief Theodore Orji, Abia State governor and the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. C.O Chukwu.
Working with the Federal Ministry of Health on the Global Fund Malaria Round 8 Project through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and other private sector partners, ARFH works towards Malaria elimination through various strategies. This includes prevention of malaria through Routine distribution of and Mobilizing communities to utilize the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), prompt and effective case Management of Malaria which includes provision of Artemisinin Based Combination Therapy (ACT), effective Community Management of Malaria(CMM) and promotion of rational use of Anti-malaria medications, encouraging confirmatory test of all fever cases through the distribution of Rapid Diagnostics Tests(RDT). ARFH also work with stakeholders to increase advocacy and community sensitization for appropriate actions on malaria prevention and treatment as well as supporting System strengthening on Malaria control activities in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Niger, Osun and Oyo states.