BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
As the world celebrates the World Malaria Day, one of the stakeholders in the country, “Break Through Action – Nigeria” has called on Nigerians to join the global campaign on malaria to halt the spread of coronavirus which is ravaging all the nations of the world.
The call became necessary as the celebration of World Malaria Day comes up on Saturday April 25, 2020.
Break Through Action – Nigeria, which is an International Nongovernmental Organization, NGO and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID focuses on advocacy campaign against malaria, neo natal, child health and nutrition, including family planning and tuberculosis.
The organization said in a statement in Uyo, “that though the outbreak of Covid-19 with its attendant lockdown effect of social distancing has hindered their advocacy modus operandi of collaborating with media houses on promoting awareness on malaria control and the spread of other communicable diseases, its effect against promoting robust health programmes among Nigerians should not be dwarfed by the dangers posed by the heightening effects of corona virus spread.
Break Through Action – Nigeria Programme and Social Behavior Change, Officer, Madam Nkoyo Umoh stated that “as the world grapples with covid-19, this year’s world malaria day celebration would seek to highlight the importance of maintaining robust health systems aimed at preventing existing diseases like malaria alongside emerging ones like corona virus.”
Madam Umoh urged media houses not to allow the spread of corona virus to limit their social responsibility duty by thinking outside the box and also coming up with innovative ideas on how to combat the social effects of malaria and covid-19 as well as exploring creative ways of overcoming the danger posed by these diseases on our health system.
She pointed out that Break Through Action – Nigeria is a USAID sponsored five-years-health project to implement health promotion, social and behavior change, as well as designed to strengthen our capacity as a country to implement state of the art, social and behavior change communication programmes and that the organization is currently working in 11 states of the federation including the federal capital territory, Abuja.
In Akwa Ibom, the project areas of interest are malaria and family planning advocacy campaign while malaria remain the main area of focus in Cross River as their goal is to foster vibrant evidence based community innovation and programming toward robust health development among Nigerians.
She also appealed to media houses to continue to partner with the organization through expert public information through creative awareness on malaria symptoms, causes and prevention alongside family planning, types, myths and misconceptions with its attendants benefits.