By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Malaria prevalence in The Gambia has severely dropped to 0.1% in 2017, the Director of Public Health Service, Bolon Bojang, has revealed.
He also revealed that Malaria parasite prevalence has also dropped from 4.0% in 2010 to 0.2% in 2004.
The Gambia, according to him, has demonstrated ‘incredible achievements’ over the past, adding that malaria in the Gambia has declined by 50%, and that admission due to malaria in hospitals and health facilities also dropped by 74%, while deaths attributed to malaria dropped by 90%.
Mr Bojang made this statement over the weekend during celebrations marking World Malaria Day in Farafenni, North Bank Region (NBR).
With the theme ‘Ready to Beat Malaria,’ Bojang said that signifies the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free malaria, and it highlights the remarkable progress achieved in tackling one of humanity’s oldest diseases, while also calling out worrying trends as captured in the 2017 World Malaria Report.
World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every year on 25 April and recognises global efforts to control malaria. Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children.
The commemoration also witnesses a presentation of a cheque amounting to D25, 000 from the Eco Bank to the National Malaria Control as part of their contribution in fighting malaria epidemic in the Country.
Speaking earlier, regional governor of NBR, Ebrima K Dampha, calls for collective effort in ending malaria, adding that the Health ministry cannot do it alone. He also thanked all those who contributed in helping reduce the disease killer in the country.
Lamin Jarju, representing the Programme Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme, gave a brief recollection of how World Malaria Day celebration came into being. He said the day came as a result of “historic Abuja Summit where 44 African Heads of States and Government Representatives met in the year 2000 and made declaration to halve the burden of malaria by 2010.
“During the summit,” Jarju explained, “25th April was set-aside and declared as African Malaria Day to be commemorated each year.”
He added: “Investing in malaria is one of the most cost effective intervention in health but gains achieved must be consolidated through sustained funding and relentless programming.”
Jarju then thanked the WHO, CRS, MRC, UNICEF, GFATM, Eco Bank, Action Aid and other partners who contributed toward the successful commemoration of this year’s celebration.
Other speakers at the event includes the regional health Director of NBR, Karamo Keita, head of CRS, Mr. Ousman Njie and Musa Jawara from MRCG unit The Gambia.