There is no denying that Malaria constitutes a severe health problem in Nigeria and the need to collectively end the deadly disease in Nigerian society and every community in Africa is the responsibility of everyone to prevent mosquito bites.

Over the years, experts have observed that the reason malaria has continued to wreak havoc among Nigerian and other African communities is due to the lack of knowledge among the people who are most vulnerable to mosquito bites; pregnant woman and children.

World Malaria Day: Are you #ReadyToBeatMalaria?

Therefore, on the event of the World Malaria Day, Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) uses the opportunity to reiterate the fact that it is imperative for everyone to avoid mosquito bites since mosquitoes that transmit malaria normally bite during twilight, and at night. Everyone should take active precaution and protective measures during this time. You should always sleep under the Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN).

The LLIN is a mosquito net impregnated with insecticide which is cleverly bound within the fibres that make up the netting and is ‘slow released’ over a 4-5 year period. Hence ‘long lasting’. The insecticide-treated nets, therefore, provide two levels of protection. First as a mechanical barrier against the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes and second as a means of killing mosquitoes on contact with the insecticide.

Nigeria records more than 1.5 million malaria cases per year.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), children under 5 years of age and pregnant women are the most vulnerable groups affected by malaria. In Africa, about 285,000 children die before their fifth birthdays.

The disease is deadlier than most widely feared diseases and viruses but it is treatable and preventable. Insecticide coated nets are so important because they kill mosquitoes that land on them, drawn to the nets by the odour of the person sleeping beneath it. This ‘knock down’ or killing of the mosquito is the single greatest thing that protects the person sleeping under the net.

In 2014, Microsoft Co-Founder, Bill Gates while marking Mosquito Week wrote on the most dangerous animal on earth. According to him, ‘of course, the answer depends on how you define dangerous. Personally, I’ve had a thing about sharks since the first time I saw Jaws.’

Bill Gates identifies the most dangerous animal on Earth.

Like Gates rightly observed, if the judgement of the deadliest animal is based on how many people are killed by an animal every year, then the answer won’t be anyway close to most people’s first ten answers of world’s deadliest animal.

Now, when it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close to what this finding revealed. See table below:

“What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for ‘little fly’—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is [highlight background=”” color=””]malaria[/highlight], which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of money in lost productivity annually,” Bill Gates

Malaria kills a child every 3o seconds, and it kills about 3000 children everyday – UNICEF.

Malaria, being the most common and deadliest disease to which mosquitoes carry, is an acute febrile illness. Symptoms of malaria usually appear about 7-15 days after being bitten by a mosquito. First, a person suffers from headaches, fevers, chills, and vomiting. Those first symptoms can be misleading though, having people think that maybe it is the flu or another illness, but if a person is not treated within 24 hours, this disease becomes more life-threatening, hence;

Sleep under a Long Lasting Insecticide mosquito Net (LLIN) every night, Only treat malaria with ACT after test, Pregnant women should regularly attend Ante-Natal Care (ANC).

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