Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Kwara chapter, has urged government at all levels and traditional rulers to increase awareness on malaria among rural dwellers.
The association’s Chairman, Mr Adejuwon Otelaja, made the call on Wednesday in a interview with newsmen in Ilorin on the sidelines of a programme to mark World Malaria Day.
Otelaja, who spoke on the theme for this year’s celebration “Ready To Beat Malaria”, stressed the need to keep the environment clean and avoid stagnant water where mosquitoes breed near residences.
Quoting statistics from World Health Organisation (WHO) the pharmacist said about 3.4 billion people live in areas prone to malaria transmission in 91 countries and territories.
He added that “malaria is a disease that is transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
“The disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites, two of the parasite species that cause malaria in humans pose the greatest threat.
“The most recent report by WHO reveals an estimated 216 million malaria cases and 445,000 deaths. It also shows that an estimated 91 per cent of deaths in 2016 were in WHO African Region.”
Otelaja stressed the need for increased awareness at the grassroots on the causes and prevention of malaria.
The chairman disclosed that members of the association would visit Elemere Community in Ilorin to educate the people on the scourge of malaria as part of activities to mark the malaria day.