By Suzan Edeh
Bauchi—No fewer than 474 people, particularly women and children under five years of age have lost their lives as a result of Malaria attack in Bauchi State, last year.
The Chairman of Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS Tuberculosis /Leprosy and Malaria, BACATMA, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, stated this Tuesday at the Flag off ceremony and distribution of anti malaria drugs and launching of vehicles for fighting malaria fever in Bauchi.
Rilwanu said: “Malaria is worse in the vulnerable group children less than five years of age and pregnant mother. children under five years old have up to three or four episode of Malaria attack in a yearbwhile 60% of adults including pregnant mothers have illness at leastbonce a year which result to loss of 300,000 lives annually in Nigeria, last year alone Bauchi state had lost 474 lives to malaria”.
Reiterating the commitment of the both Federal and State governments and donor agencies to reduce malaria by the end of 2010 and work towards Malaria free in Nigeria by 2015, he said part of the measures that the agency put in place to combat the menace was the procurement of anti malaria drugs, six field operations vehicles, 40 motorcycles, two media van for mobilization awareness in the rural areas and two Hilux bus that will be distributed to the local government areas and staffs of the agency to fight malaria in the state, adding that so far, the government has spent N95.5m.
Distributing the drugs and the vehicles purchased to the 20 local government areas of the state, the deputy Governor Babayo Garba Gamawa warned some of the workers in the state General Hospitals against sabotaging government programmes in giving health care services free of charge to the pregnant women and children under the ages of five and people suffering from leprosy, HIV/Aids and tuberculosis.
Gamawa who said some of the health workers were used to dumping the drugs in the store in order to sell it to patients, however warned that whosoever was caught in the act, would be dealt with accordingly.
The Deputy Governor reiterated the commitment of the state government to provide health care services to all its citizens either free of charge or at a subsidized rate that will be affordable to all.