EES Marks Global Malaria Day
Eastern Equatoria State (EES) joined the rest of the world to mark the World Malaria Day yesterday.
Members of a band group march to mark the world malaria day in Torit [©Gurtong/ Peter Lokale]
By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 26th April 2012 [Gurtong]
Several Torit residents converged at Torit freedom square to commemorate the day. The day’s speakers declared Malaria to be among the world’s killer diseases.
The theme was to ‘sleep under a long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net every night, seek treatment for every fever within 24 hours from a health facility.’
The host commissioner Mr. William Oyet Omoro who addressed the public called for extensive mass awareness on prevention and control of malaria saying adherence to consistent usage of treated mosquito net each night is crucial to every person.
A number of plays were performed by different travelling theatres; among them Woyee group who strongly discouraged the public from using mosquito nets for fishing purposes.
The different messages were customised to educate the public about the importance of sleeping under a treated mosquito net to avoid being bitten. The world needs individual and collective efforts to protect and prevent malaria from killing vulnerable population.
Pupils from Airport View primary school performed a play symbolizing the consistent use of treated mosquito nets by each family member and called for averting the disease’ severity.
The newly appointed State Minister of Health, Dr. Margaret Itto appealed to every family member to protect themselves from catching malaria. She noted that South Sudan is behind in successfully combating malaria but affirmed that the need to underpin the fight has been the country’s mission as it strives to meet minimum development goals.
“We commemorate this day in order to keep you informed on how to prevent malaria. One out of 5 children below five years succumb before their fifth year due to malaria,” Dr. Itto expressed.
She promised that her ministry shall adopt suitable and accurate surveillance systems and she also pledged to ensure reduction of the disease with cooperation with other development partners.
Dr. Itto appealed to her Ministry’s officials and development partners to extensively preach messages to the public on the importance of using treated mosquito nets every night.
She called on the public to make sure any suspected malaria cases should receive medical attention promptly using guaranteed anti-malarial drugs.
The state coordinator for UNMISS in EES Madam Winnie Babihuga urged the state government to seriously cooperate with development partners to jointly fight the disease.
Babihuga appreciated efforts put by UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), with support from Global Fund to scale up the fight against the killer disease.
An official from WHO urged the global health community to further scale up investments in diagnostic testing, treatment and surveillance for malaria in order to save more lives and to push towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals.
Speaking on behalf of the state Governor, the state Finance Minister commented that more efforts by the Government and international development partners are needed to fight malaria so as to ensure its existence decreases. “There is need to do more,” he added while appealing on behalf of the state to UN agencies and International NGOs to continue supporting the state in eradicating malaria.
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