Become ambassadors to combat malaria – PK residents urged

─ Malaria Day in the Americas launched in Reg. 1

─ 2019 theme “Zero malaria starts with me”

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Persons residing in communities across Barima-Waini, Region 1, were encouraged to join the campaign to eliminate the dreaded illness – malaria. The call was made during the launching to commemorate ‘Malaria Day in the Americas’, at the Port Kaituma Community Centre, on Wednesday.

Malaria Day in the Americas, which is observed on November 6 of every year, is envisioned to be the platform on which countries can engage in an aggressive year-round campaign against the disease.

In brief remarks, Acting Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Lachmie Lall said malaria continues to be one of the illnesses affecting the district, and it is essential for residents to become more cognisant of the disease. To this end, the RHO advised each resident, both young and old, to contribute significantly towards the effort to eradicate the illness.

Director of the Vector Control Services, Dr. Horace Cox, in his feature address, stressed that prevention for the deadly virus is imperative. He noted that the key component to avert it is the “use of the long-lasting insecticides”. He disclosed that the Ministry of Public Health collaborates with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and other stakeholders to mobilise communities to deliver adequate health services in that regard.

“For example, within mining camps and remote areas we work with persons to ensure that they can build their capacity to test and treat for malaria,” the director explained.

Dr. Cox said the Ministry of Public Health is keen on delivering the correct medications to citizens diagnosed with the virus. “Because in some places, we see people taking what is accessible to them, and that might not be what the ministry recommends and as a result of that, there are several health implications.” He said residents should not be afraid to seek help.

Devika Broomes, a teacher of the Port Kaituma Primary School, told the Department of Public Information (DPI), that the Public Health officials in the district are working assiduously to combat malaria, much to the satisfaction of the residents. “There were some persons who were even given private treatment. They were even placed at a hotel and were rechecked and provided with meals. So, the healthcentre staff are also working to eradicate the illness,” Broomes said.

Specifically, Malaria Day seeks to improve the communication progress and the extension of advocacy work to all stakeholders and the target audiences; enhance visibility or interest on malaria, and the global scourge that the disease brings to people of the world. Additionally, the day is used to increase awareness and understanding of the key issue among the target population. It is also used to encourage increased and enduring support to efforts against malaria, including the elimination of local transmission in areas where such is feasible.

The launch is a joint effort between the Vector Control Department, Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), Breakthrough Action and the Regional Democratic Council of Barima-Waini. It saw the attendance of the Assistant Regional Executive Officer, Enoch Benjamin and PAHO’s representatives from other regions, who travelled to support the event.

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