So it becomes necessary to raise awareness because malaria without doubt is the major killer of children under five years and pregnant women in The Gambia. It is estimated that malaria contributes about 44% of all out-patient cases and about 22% of all deaths in children under five. In pregnant women, about 13% are affected and 10% go on admissions with the disease. As much as 9% of pregnant women die from malaria.
The disease has been a major problem within our communities. Year after year, we are faced with challenges in both high rates of infection and drug shortages. The results of course being that many lose their lives, while many develop cerebral forms which when left untreated end up in mental health problems for the patient. The disease has claimed the lives of a lot of young people, who could have grown up to contribute greatly to the welfare of the nation.
According to statistics on a global level, malaria caused an estimated 207 million clinical episodes, and 627,000 deaths. An estimated 91% of deaths in 2010 were in the African region. The World Health Organisation considers it a major health problem worldwide, which makes it one of the foremost on the agenda of the health organisation. Beyond the statistics, it’s a reality that many deaths go unnoticed a and undocumented.
The government has mobilised many efforts to prevent malaria. The Ministry of Health has been very active over the years in distributing drugs and spreading awareness on how to prevent malaria. However the civil society organisations have also done tremendous efforts in fighting malaria as well. One of the ways in which we can be able to avert this menace is in investing in its prevention. As we don’t have the necessary facilities to cover all those affected. This is why the efforts of these organisations must be commended and giving a helping hand in their service.
Organisations such as the Global Fund, CRS, Action Aid, the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) Gambia chapter, NSGA, and others which are helping to distribute long lasting insecticides treated nets (LLINs) to communities across the country, must be complemented by all sectors of society. The corporations and companies that are in the country should invest in doing thing like this to help in stemming the tide of the malarial infection from getting the better of people this time around.]]>