By James Ezeama
With about 300, 000 Nigerian children killed annually, medical experts have identified lack of adequate power supply in Nigeria as a major clog in the countryâ€™s effort in the prevention and control of malaria. According to them, most people refuse to sleep under long lasting insecticide treated nets because the nets generate terrible heat when there is no electricity.
This was the view of participants at the just-concluded 2010 Seminar with the theme, â€œUpdate in Malaria Managementâ€, organised by the Malaria Society of Nigeria (MSN) in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, the President of the Malaria Society of Nigeria, Dr. Babajide Puddicombe advocated for prompt diagnosis and early treatment, adding that with these two factors, many lives of children under five and pregnant women considered as vulnerable group can be saved.
â€œLong lasting insecticide treated nets can be very terribly hot sleeping under them when there is no power and when there is no electricity, people refuse to use the nets. So, we are appealing to government, especially with a promise from President Goodluck Jonathan that he is going to work on power supply for the country, to improve on electricity supply. If he fulfils his promise, we are going to have a crash, a big reduction in the malaise of malaria in this countryâ€
Also, President of Association of General and Private Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) who chaired the occasion, Dr. Anthony Omolola insisted that â€œGovernment should be aggressive and ensure that the use of treated nets by all the vulnerable groups is well promotedâ€, adding that â€œgovernment should have the political will to ensure there is power supply because power is traceable to a lot of issuesâ€.
Speaking, former President ofÂ MSN, Dr. Okokon Ekanem, said the challenges in malaria management and control are, among others, â€œhaving the health services that can maintain eradication (of malaria). After eradication, you have to maintain that status of eradication. and to do that, you need health services that can cover the whole country before you can aim to eradicate malaria.â€