Malaria continues to be endemic in our environment, especially in Nigeria. To eradicate malaria in Nigeria, our attitude and behavior must change.
Malaria is passed on by the Anopheles mosquito.
In our environment, we have the vector (the female anopheles mosquito) in large quantity. It can travel a lot within our community, flying longer distance. The major problem with it is that, once the mosquito sucks the agent (plasmodium) and after some forms of development, the mosquito injects it in to someone who does not have history of malaria.
Moreover, transfusion of blood from infected persons and use of contaminated needles and syringes are other potential modes of transmission.
Factors Responsible for the Presence of Malaria
Behavior and Attitude:
The vector continues to remain in our environment, and we still have the behavior that encourages the breeding of the vector.
Here, we have bushes, potholes, unused utensils containing water all over which are breeding sites of mosquitoes.
Taking drugs without test and using incomplete drugs are responsible for the development of resistance.
A lot of people in our environment has immunity because they are exposed to mosquitoes regularly and plasmodium is also injected in to their body regularly. But area that gives us serious concern are the vulnerable groups. The vulnerable groups are the children (under the age of 5, they don’t have much of this immunity), pregnant women, and the adults.
1 in 4 children under the age of 1 is infected with malaria in Nigeria
This group of people, when they have malaria, it is usually severe to the extent that they possess some features of severity like anaemia, shortage down the kidney because they are part of the vulnerable group.
This involves use of mosquito nets (Insecticide Treated Mosquito Net). It’s been known to be very effective way of controlling malaria. It prevents contacts between the person sleeping and the vector and kills the mosquito.
A child sits under a treated mosquito net.
Clearing of dirts, bushes from the environment, use of Insecticide prevents breeding sites of mosquitoes in our environment.