Saturday, April 25, 2015

World Malaria Day 2015: A Call to close the gaps in prevention and treatment to defeat Malaria

Today, the 25th day of April marks the global campaign for the total eradication of malaria in various endemic regions. Milestones have been achieved since the fight against malaria started decades ago but yet people still die from malaria daily with a higher mortality rate of children less than 5 years old and pregnant women.
 This year's theme focuses on a call to all (government, private institutions, civil authorities, non-governmental organisations and individuals to close the gaps in the prevention and treatment of malaria by providing more preventive measures and diagnostic testing for the treatment of malaria
This week the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the updated guidelines for the treatment of malaria with focus on access to recommended treatment. The recommendation is to use artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) although the challenge of access to health care still remains in some malaria zones. 
In Nigeria, most individuals are now used to self medication when they have or think they have symptoms of malaria. The danger there is that their immune system becomes resistant to malaria drugs since they mostly take "off the counter" drugs instead of prescribed drugs from a specialist. Therefore when they actually get infected with malaria and they are hospitalised, the prescription drugs do not make them well. There is a call to all to always "think malaria" when there are potential symptoms so that a proper diagnostic test is taken to confirm malaria before treatment.
We have a collective goal to support the "roll back malaria" program. We can defeat malaria if we all work in our communities to ensure preventive measures are applied and treatment is given when required. A lot of progress have been made but there is more to be done, let us all work together to achieve this.
Join the campaign for the total eradication of malaria in Nigeria. Remember the A- awareness B- bite prevention C chemoprophylaxis (for non-immune or Expatriates) and D- diagnosis. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Election Advisory (Safety & Security)

The Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone and thankfully it was relatively safe and violence-free. The period preceding 28th March was filled with tepid so you can imagine the relief when the results were announced and the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conceded to the defeat by the opposing party candidate.
This previous experience has made most people complacent and therefore the tendency to relax and take things for granted is very high. Elections in Nigeria have a history of tension, violent activities and/ or reactions prior to, during and after the exercise.
The following preventive measures is recommended to be applied as Nigerians vote today, April 11th in the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections to ensure their safety and security:
  • Avoid open display of your partisanship, use of political stickers on your vehicle or walls of your residence and branded clothing.
  •  Avoid public gathering and keep your voting preference confidential. There are opposing views everywhere and your celebration may trigger their sadness. Be very careful. 
  •  Be security conscious as touts and criminals may use this period to rob and kidnap people.
  •  Avoid as much as possible travel to potential flash-points during post-election periods.
  •  Avoid taking routes through offices of main political parties belonging to the contending parties, and key poll-related institutions, such as INEC premises.
  •  Know that post-election celebration is likely to cause an increase in road traffic incidents and accident, avoid following motorcades and celebration convoys
  • Keep abreast of information of planned activities (rallies, gatherings, etc.) billed to take place in and around your area via radio, Television news, Corporate Organisations' security text messages and local and social media with a view to avoiding the area where possible.
  • After casting your votes, leave polling centres immediately. Always inform trusted family contact of any movement out of your home.
  •  In the case of civil unrests, keep yourself and your family indoors at all times and keep your homes locked down. Ensure that all windows and doors are secured.
  • Reduce road travel during this period as much as practicable by stocking your home with basic supplies of food, cooking materials, water, and cash sufficient for extended period of restriction, first aid, adequate airtime on your phones, power generation and basic medication.
  • Put together a ‘Grab-n-go’ bag. This is a backpack that is filled with essential material to help in the event of need to move if area becomes unsafe.

Ultimately remain safe during the period; your life is more valuable than the results of the election.