By Chioma Obinna
INDIGENES of Badagryin Lagos State went home with smiles on their faces last week, at the end of a 2-day free treatment and public enlightenment exercise rolled out by the the Malaria Society of Nigeria in commemoration of 2017 World Malaria Day.
During the event which took place at Tohon area of Badagry, they recieved free malaria treatment and insecticide treated bed nets and were screened for diabetes and hypertension among others.
Good Health Weekly gathered that prior to commencement of the programme, majority of the residents took solace in traditional healers and some unorthodox means.
One of the beneficiaries, 62-year-old Isaiah Gbenu, had been treating himself for malaria by traditional methods for years.
Gbenu, a farmer and father of eight, said he last visited the General Hospital five years ago.
According to Esther Ajayi, a dealer in palm oil, traditional medicine has been the only available treatment for her ailments.
Esther who claimed never to have gone for medical test of any kind, knows whenever she is ill with malaria and therefore goes for herbs.
Also speaking, a teacher at Tohon Methodist Primary School, AbdulRaman Rukayat, said most of the people embrace traditional medicine.
“Though I do not live in this village, I am pleading with the organisers of the programme to hold it at least twice a year.”
In a chat, the President, Malaria Society of Nigeria, Dr. John Puddicombe, said the programme was taken to the rural riverine village in Badagry called Tohon because of the discovery of the higher incidence of malaria in the riverrine rural areas compared to the urban centres.
Puddicombe said the team had gone round five communities sensitising and inviting them to participate in the free malaria treatment exercise.
“At the end of the day, everybody that takes part in this programme will get a bed net; those tested positive will be treated with ACT free of charge and give routine drugs for everybody.”
Acting Head of Department, Biochemistry and Nutrition, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Dr Oluwagbemiga Aino, said the prevalence of malaria is unexpectedly low at 13.5 per cent.
For eradication of malaria to be reality, he urged residents in the area to always sleep inside long lasting mosquito treated nets.
The Baale of Tohon community, Chief Yeyiji Amos Adeoye Sottin, thanked the medical team for the gesture urging the people to healthy living by embracing a clean environment.