The wife of the Gov. of Kwara and Founder, Ajike People Support Centre, Amb. Olufolake AbdulRazaq, says her office and NGO, would not relent on their effort until malaria is totally eradicated in the state.
Mrs AbdulRazaq described malaria as a life-threatening disease, though preventable and treatable, the disease continued to have a devastating impact on the health and livelihood of people around the world.
She spoke at the book distribution of End Malaria authored by Mrs Funmilayo Braithwaite, to commemorate the World Malaria Day 2022, in Ilorin, yesterday.
She said that according to the 2021 World Malaria Report, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases in 2020, with 95 per cent of them in Africa.
The first lady said that the event presented an avenue for renewed commitment that encouraged investment in malaria prevention and control.
She commended the commitment of the state government under the leadership of Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to eradicate malaria as a public health concern through the launch of ‘Malaria Free Kwara’ Initiative.
“The essence of the various interventions undertaken has eventually manifested in an observable reduction in prevalence rate of Malaria in the state to 20%, which is now below the national average of 23% in the Year 2021 World Malaria Report as against a prior prevalence rate of 27% in the state.
“I commend the author Mrs Funmilayo Braithwaite for putting together a well-illustrated work that outlines the causes of Malaria and measures put in place to prevent the disease albeit in an easy to understand fashion.
“I however call on critical stakeholders to work closely with development partners to advance our cause towards the elimination of the disease, while contributing to the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals.
“My office and the Ajike People Support Centre are committed to continue to complement the efforts of government in ensuring health and wellbeing of the good people of the state,” she said.
Earlier, the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, commended the governor’s wife’s initiative, while congratulating the author of the book for sharing the common vision of ending malaria.
Alabi said that apart from the direct investment in healthcare towards ensuring that hospitals in the state were suitably relevant to tackling endemic diseases like malaria, he said the government has also invested heavily in keeping the environment clean and safe.
He added that since the inception of the AbdulRazaq administration, the direct fund to the tune of N150 million injected into the State Malaria Elimination Programme has boosted the ‘Malaria Free Kwara initiatives’ and elevated the state’s status of collaboration in the Global-fund supported National Malaria Elimination programme to a ‘Sub-recipient’ status.
“If we add these efforts to the strategic contribution by the first lady to disseminate this highly informative and educative book, written using simple words, widely, we are no doubt getting closer to eliminating Malaria.
“On this note, I hereby recommend this book as an intellectual tool and guide in our mutual effort towards eliminating Malaria in Kwara State and the whole world,” he said.
Alabi urged residents to utilise these opportunities effectively where diseases causing germs will have no hiding place, while also appealing to the public to avail themselves the benefits of the free and insurance-supported healthcare systems for treatment.
The state Commissioner for Health in, Dr Raji Razaq, said that the state government had spent about N3.2 million to procure mosquito nets as parts of efforts to eradicate malaria in 2020, while in 2021 seasonal malaria treatment for children was carried out.
Razaq said this had reduced maternal mortality rate in the state drastically.
The commissioner ascribed the success of the state Ministry of Health at eradicating malaria to the effort and commitment of the first lady, while appreciating the governor for his unreserved commitment at ensuring that citizens of Kwara have access to good health.
The author of the book, Mrs Funmilayo Braithwaite, commended the first lady’s positive impact in Kwara.
Braithwaite lauded the opportunity given to distribute the book in the state as a step towards eradicating malaria.
She called on citizens to support the noble course and the state government’s aim towards eradicating malaria and having a malaria free society.