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Medical Researcher advises health workers on Malaria

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By Asmau Ahmad

A medical researcher, Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, on Wednesday advised health workers and members of the public to work toward interruption of malaria transmission in the country. Iwalokun, who works with the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

“Nigeria has adopted malaria elimination goal and what that means is that we have accepted to interrupt malaria transmission from now on. “To get to zero transmission and after that we prevent reintroduction of parasites into our country, that is what elimination is. “We have adopted our own on the basis of feasibility because of improvement in coverage of basic malaria intervention since 2005.

“It is also important that every health worker should know that Nigeria has adopted this elimination goal, awareness should reach health workers and through interpersonal communications. “It should reach pregnant women and people that come to the hospital and through awareness campaign. “It should reach the community and the entire country and when this is done we are going to improve our attitude toward our environment.”

Iwalokun said that there was need for improvement and upgrading of the diagnostic tools to facilitate the elimination of malaria. “Under elimination in case detection, we have to move from passive to active and in elimination we address both symptomatic and asymptomatic malaria.

“Asymptomatic malaria will continue to cause transmission if it is not taken care of, and this category of people will form a potential reservoir of the parasite and transmitting it and the goal of elimination will be defeated. “Because by elimination, we want to interrupt transmission to zero then, we now prevent the reintroduction of the parasite into a geographical setting.

“Then, we say we have eliminated and when we maintain that for three years, we say that we have eradicated it. “We also need to improve the tool that we use to detect, we need to have more trained microscopists, more quality assured microscopes, more quality assured reagents that will be sustained.”

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