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Enhance sanitation to curb mosquitoes- Don

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By Usman Oladimeji

Government should focus on funding environmental sanitation management.

Mosquitoes are of different species and can induce a number of fatal diseases, specifically malaria which has been a persistent adversary to humanity for a very long time and has been responsible for a large number of deaths. In the case of Nigeria, the country suffers one of the world’s greatest malaria burdens and is still plagued by it. Proposing a novel approach to eradicate mosquitoes, Professor Godson Ana, Dean, faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan advocates for more spending on environmental sanitation and control strategies.

This was mentioned during a symposium in Abuja held in commemoration of World Mosquito Day by the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON) in conjunction with the Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN). During a presentation tagged “Fighting the World’s Deadliest Killer, War Against Mosquito: Strategies, Gains and Setback”, the Don astutely observed that it is futile to solely allocate financial resources to healthcare facilities in the fight against malaria, while people persistently succumb to mosquito-borne diseases.

Research and development funding for malaria is inadequate.

Rather, he argued that the government should focus funding towards environmental sanitation management strategies including improved sanitation and hygiene programmes, as well as research and documentation. Research and development funding for malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses is inadequate; more funds should be invested eliminating the problem at its source. Mosquitoes cause serious health and economic concerns, including the need for costly medical procedures to prevent diseases like cerebral hemorrhage and liver damage. It also has an impact on pregnant women, causes man hour loss, results in school absenteeism, and impacts children under the age of five, he added.

According to him, malaria is a parasitic infection transmitted by ‘Anopheline mosquitoes. It is estimated that the global cases of malaria infections amounts to about 219 million cases annually, leading to a staggering death toll exceeding 400,000 individuals per year. He stressed that the majority of the victims were youngsters under age five. The Don went on to call for greater environmental sensitization and education, claiming that the vast majority of people were either uninformed or uncaring to the importance of maintaining a clean and healthy environment.

Nigeria should adopt the WHO recommended integrated strategy.

In addition, he urged that EHCON, the National Environmental Standards Regulations and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), and other environment-related authorities “strictly enforce” cleanliness regulations and associated community-level initiatives. He stressed the importance of intensifying efforts to combat the world’s most deadliest killer, the mosquito. Prof. Ana, describing the mosquito as “one of the deadliest foes of mankind,” noted that the parasite came in many distinct species around the globe. The majority of public health problems may be traced back to it, most notably malaria, and several approaches have been taken to combat it.

He also stated that despite the employment of innovative technology, the fight against mosquitoes is still far from triumph due to numerous setbacks. Overcoming invasion and its effects calls for constant work, new ideas, and general dedication. In order to protect the environment, the country should adopt the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended integrated strategy to vector management. Prof. Ana described the system as a fusion of vector management techniques, including surveys to ascertain mosquito specific kind, its positioning and monitoring prior to control implementation.

Humans are to be blamed for the deterioration of our ecosystem.

Some of the drawbacks he mentioned in controlling and eradicating mosquitoes were ineffective research and documentation, environmental deterioration, the loss of tourist potentials and ecosystem structure, the loss of manhours, and a rise in the number of out of school children. In his view, humans are to be blamed for the deterioration of our ecosystem, as exemplified by the fact that some flood-prone regions have been developed precisely because people built homes on waterways and have blocked water channels with trash, thereby creating ideal conditions for mosquito breeding.

Related Link

WHO: Website

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