Tony John, Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that the State Government would join all roll back malaria partners to develop a formidable platform to eliminate the disease in the state.
Speaking, on Wednesday, during his investiture as the Grand Ambassador for Malaria Elimination at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that his administration has made the fight against malaria a top priority.
Said he, “We must all join the fight to eliminate malaria. The deaths flowing from malaria are unacceptable. We must execute it as a communal-based action plan.
“The fight against malaria goes beyond providing bed nets or ensuring access to effective treatment. These are important measures, but certainly not enough. We must move from this sense of complacency that malaria is preventable and completely treatable and focus on the need to end malaria for good within the shortest period”, Governor Wike stated.
He noted that the action-based communal effort to eradicate malaria must be owned and driven by the grassroots, with a broad-based platform.
The governor also called on the private sector to join the fight to end malaria as an enlightened self-interest.
The governor also urged civil society organisations and well-meaning individuals to contribute to ending the prevalence of malaria in the state.
In his address, Rivers State Commissioner of Health, Professor Princewill Chike, said that the State has one of the lowest prevalence of malaria in the country.
He said that the need to eliminate malaria is premised on the fact that it accounts for 60 percent outdoor visits and admission in the State health facilities.
He said the investiture of Governor Wike as the Grand Ambassador of Malaria Elimination, would galvanize the fight in the interest of the state.
In a goodwill message, South-South Coordinator of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Wale Famiyesin, said the governor’s investiture gave him the mantle to make further investments in eradicating malaria.
Highpoint of the occasion was the launch of the treated nets against mosquito by the State governor supported by members of the State Roll Back Malaria Initiative.