Farafenni to host World Malaria Day celebrations
Monday, April 20, 2009
As the World Malaria Day celebrations gets closer, the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), on Monday, organised a press briefing on the upcoming celebrations and the significance of the day, at the National Malaria Control Programme conference hall in Kanifing.
The Gambia will join the rest of the world in observing the day on 25th April 2009, in Farafenni, North Bank Region. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Counting malaria out”. Speaking at the press briefing, Adama Jagne-Sonko of the National Malaria Control Programme described the disease as a major public health problem in The Gambia. She added that it leads to morbidity and mortality especially in children under five years and pregnant women. She described it as the highest killer disease, affecting 300-500 million people.
She said malaria also affects Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and some parts of Europe. “ Due to this, the World Health Assembly instituted World Malaria Day at its 60th Session in May 2007,” she explained. Highlighting the importance of the day, Sonko said “the day will present a chance for all to make a difference in helping to generate broader gains in multiple areas of health and human development. She added that it will also help to invite new donors to join a global partnership against malaria.
Alpha Jallow of the World Health Organisation cited the importance of the celebrations, noting that malaria is a disease that kills a lot of people. He called for quick actions to be taken. Martin Baldeh of UNICEF cited the concern the health department faces in eradicating and control of malaria in the country. He said malaria is a disease that takes the life of someone every thirty seconds. He then dilated on the importance of using the insecticide treated nets for prevention of the disease.
David Donovan of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) asserted the importance of partnership in the control of malaria, noting that the disease is too powerful to be controlled by an organisation or individuals, but that through partnership, it can be tackled. He called on organisations to partner with NMCP in eradicating malaria. Other speakers included Serigne Ceesay of the Medical Research Council and Kujejatou Manneh of Action Aid, The Gambia.
Author: by Alieu Ceesay