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Tackling Malaria: Breaking the Scourge in Liberia

By Moses Owen Browne, Jr.              Paddling canoe in Lexington, Sinoe County

 

 

Paddling a canoe across the stream leading to Lexington in Sinoe County, staffers of the child-centered charity, Plan International Liberia and partners struggled to
take two bales of mosquito nets to the people to prevent the spread of malaria.

In a nationwide campaign launched 25th April 2015 by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) and partners, the distribution of 2.8 million mosquito nets is crucial to massively reducing the deaths caused by malaria among Liberia’s estimated 4.2 Million population.

“We have succeeded and been among the countries to reduce our malaria prevalence over 50 percent,” says Oliver J. Pratt, NMCP Program Manager.

Pratt said: “We have made a lot of gains to show the world at large that the malaria
burden in Liberia is much lower than it was 10 years ago.”

The Plan Liberia supported distribution of mosquito nets to household boost the
further decline of the death attributed to malaria among people in predominantly
rural Liberia.

“The current state of malaria in Sinoe County and Liberia at large is about ten
percent of the all patient department intake and make up malaria cases like for
example if you have one hundred patients coming in, out of those one hundred
patients at least ten will be malaria cases so this is why it is important that we
take care of this disease especially for the children and the pregnant women,” says
Dr. Wilmot G. Frank, Sinoe County Health Officer.

The death caused by malaria in Liberia is far higher than Ebola. In 2012, there were 207 million cases of malaria. That year, the disease is estimated to have killed
between 473,000 and 789,000 people, many of whom are children in Africa.

“Malaria is one of the most common disease or problems across Liberia so it is
through the government effort and the effort of the partners to ensure that our
citizens are protected from malaria,” Joseph Nyunkor, Plan Liberia Nimba Field
Office Manager laments.

“In 2013, malaria caused an estimated 584 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 367 000 to 755 000), mostly among African children”; according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Also Mr. Leleh Gornor -Pewu M&E Officer of the Sinoe County Health Team emphasized “The nets are very important. The nets will help us to reduce the malaria cases, but we should remember that the mosquitoes are not only reaching individuals in the bedrooms and you are not going to take the mosquito nets with you during the day or when you are at other places so we should still pay attention to making available the ACTs for the cure malaria”.

On World Malaria Day, child rights organization Plan International highlights the
need to work closely with community volunteers and strengthen their capacity in the fight against malaria.

Community volunteers are important allies, especially in remote areas where often no infrastructure is available to take care of patients. Their community knowledge is a major factor which enables them to teach people the skills they need to prevent
malaria.

“Community’s volunteers have contributed to a better understanding of the disease by the population and the necessity to seek rapid care at the first sign of symptoms. Awareness is conducted through group discussion sessions, home visits, distribution of impregnated mosquito nets and free treatment with ACT for uncomplicated cases of malaria along with close monitoring of households by volunteers,” explains Koala Oumarou, Country Director, Plan International Liberia.

Moses Owen Browne, Jr.
Media & Communications Coordinator
Plan International Liberia
Email: moses.browne@plan-international.org<mailto:moses.browne@plan-international.org>
Cell: +231886493370 / +231770009018 /  +231776859183
Congo Town, Sophie Community Off Tubman Boulevard
Monrovia, Liberia

 

 

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