Youth corps members, greenlife stage 1000-man awareness match in Lagos
No fewer than 1000 persons, mainly members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Tuesday staged a walk to raise public awareness on the scourge of malaria in Lagos environs.
The walk, which took off from Classique event centre in Oregun and ends at The Pavilion, Alausa, had participants share fliers on malaria prevention and eradication, distribute wellness drugs and later conducted free malaria checks for members of the public.
The match was part of events marking the World Malaria Day 2016 and was organised by Greenlife Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited, the maker of Lonart antimalarial drug among others.
According to estimates, at least one child dies of malaria every 30 minutes in Nigeria. And 78 per cent of malaria-related deaths across the world are children of less than five years.
One of the participants, Dr. Omolola Salako said that the walk was most significant to further draw attention of Lagos public to basic simple things that could help reduce burden of the deadly disease, like cleaning the environment and getting tested for malaria when having fever.
Salako, who is a Consultant Radiation Oncologist, said it is not enough to just take medications for fever, but, as World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended, such person should present in a hospital and affirm the cause first before medications.
On theme of the walk: ‘Malaria must go’, she added that total eradication is possible when there are no breathing grounds for mosquitoes.
Her words: “When mosquitoes are dead, then the parasite, the P. falciparum that causes malaria is dead in them. So, if we clean our environment and prevent mosquitoes from multiplying, them we will not have mosquitoes biting our people infecting them with P. falciparum and then causing malaria.
“The effect of malaria on our country is huge; children and pregnant women are dying due to malaria. A lot of people are spending unnecessary money treating resistance malaria. It is a real problem but we can prevent it,” she said.
Marketing Manager for Greenlife Pharmaceuticals, Olufemi Ayekun, said that the pharmaceutical company aligns with the programmes of the WHO to create awareness, highlight its deadly effects on humanity and how to manage it.
Ayekun said though Greenlife markets anti-malaria drugs, but it is the company’s desire to see that no child dies because of the malaria.
“Our mission is to raise awareness on how to manage malaria, properly have hygienic environment, but if you still have malaria, then appropriately take the right anti-malaria drugs,” he said.
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