Malaria is one of Sierra Leone’s leading causes of death and illness – Programme Manager
The Programme Manager, National Malaria Control Programme, Dr. Samuel Juana Smith has said that Malaria is one of Sierra Leone’s leading cause of death and illness, adding that one in ten people have had malaria countrywide. (Photo: Programme Manager, National Malaria Control Programme, Dr. Samuel Juana Smith)
Addressing journalists during a press briefing to mark World Malaria Day at the National Malaria Control Programme Conference hall in Freetown, Dr. Samuel Juana Smith described malaria as a major public health problem in Africa.
He said malaria remains both a major cause and a consequence of global poverty and inequity, adding that its burden is greatest in the least developed areas and among the poorest members of society.
Dr. Smith informed journalists that according to the World M alaria Report 2016, there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429, 000 deaths in 2015, adding that World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria.
Giving an overview of the World Malaria Day, the Programme Manager told journalists that April 25 is a day set aside to commemorate global efforts to control malaria and the theme of the World Malaria Day is “End Malaria for Good”. He reiterated that following the great progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, it is important to build this success and end malaria for good under the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said the overall aim of the World Malaria Day is to focus the attention of policy-makers, donor, partners and the wider public on the need to sustain progress in malaria prevention and control and continue scaling up malaria intervention towards malaria elimination.
Dr. Smith reiterated that the National Malaria Control Programme is committed to work towards ensuring that every individual have right to access highly effective malaria preventive services and curative care delivered as close to the household as possible.
He said malaria is a deterrent to the socio-economic growth of a country, adding that World Malaria Day represents a chance for all to make a difference.
The Programme Manager stated that towards the ultimate goal of malaria eradication, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has committed to reducing new cases of the disease by 40 percent by 2020, adding that it requires concerted actions from government, health professionals, partners, communities, families and individuals to ensure uptake to preventive measures and timely treatment for all.
He said an estimated needs for the 2017 Long Lasting Insecticide Net (LLIN) mass distribution project one for every two people is 4, 186, 517 Long Lasting Insecticide Nets for a projected population of 7, 535,731.
By Kadrie Koroma
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