Oyo inaugurates malaria technical working group

The Oyo State government on Tuesday inaugurated a malaria technical working group with a mandate to coordinate and provide leadership for malaria control activities and reduce burden of malaria infection in the state.

The Oyo State Commissioner for Health,  Dr Basir Bello while inaugurating the body on Tuesday, said malaria infection still contributes to over 100 million deaths globally and so the need for the group to coordinate and provide leadership for malaria control activities in the state.

Dr Bello, who was represented by Dr Wole Lawal, Director, Public Health, Ministry of Health, asked the group to work towards reducing the burden of malaria and provide proper management of the disease at all levels.

Malaria Case Management officer, Mrs Elizabeth Adeleke, in an update on malaria case management and diagnosis in the state, said there had been a steady increase in proportion of clinically diagnosed malaria cases given ACT between January and March 2020 in the state.

She declared that, while children under five years that received long-lasting insecticidal-treated nets (LLINs) increased from 22 per cent in January to 30.6 per cent in March, pregnant women at first antenatal visit that received LLINs reduced from 22.3 per cent  to 21.5 per cent within that period.

Mrs Taiwo Olarinde, state technical lead, Presidential Malaria Initiative for States, said there was the need to ensure that all fever cases are tested and if negative, health providers refrain from giving ACTs but probe further to find its exact cause before treating appropriately.

The group’s terms of reference include supporting the state malaria elimination programme to identify areas for improvement and provide needed financial, technical and material support for the agreed options for the improvement of the state response.

They are also expected, among other things, to support in the design and implementation of operation research and use the findings to suggest options for improvement in policy formulation and implementation.

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