The call, which is line with this year's World Malaria Day theme “Invest in the future, Defeat Malaria,” was made during the commemoration at Jarra Soma Town, in Lower River Region on Saturday.
In his remarks, Alpha Jallow, a representative from the WHO said World Malaria Day is an occasion to harmonise global, regional, national and country-level advocacy efforts to maintain progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating Malaria.
“While huge gains in the fight against malaria have been made in recent years, the disease still has a devastating impact on the people's health and livelihoods around the world, particularly in Africa, where it kills almost half a million children under 5 each year. Limited access to and underutilisation of available malaria interventions within countries are the major causes of excessively high burden of malaria cases and deaths,” Jallow added.
For Mr Jallow, effective tools to prevent and treat malaria already exist, but more funds are urgently required to make them available to the people who need them and to combat emerging drug and insecticide resistance. He said total funding will only match needs if international donors and partners and national governments prioritise further investments in malaria control.
Balla Kandeh, the program manager at National Malaria Control Programme said the Ministry of Health enjoys broad range of partnership across all sectors. “Controlling and preventing malaria require a collaborative effort from all sectors of the society; no single person or unit can do it alone. Therefore, every one of us can help in great deal in advocacy, social mobilisation campaigns and showcase the efforts made against combating the disease,” Kandeh added.
On his part, Momodou Lamin Manneh, regional director of Health Services, LRR, commented: “Regional date for LRR show a reduction in the cases of malaria from 1,504 in 2012 to 662 in 2014 among the under 5 and from 8,177 to 3, 955 in the above 5 in the same period, which came as a results of a broad range of collaboration from both government and private sectors.”
Lower River Region Governor Salifu Puye hailed the efforts of health officials in his region and in the country as a whole, saying that his is always willing to support and work with the healthcare sector.
This year's theme, “Invest in the Future, Defeat Malaria” highlights the need for increased financial and human resources, commodities and infrastructural investment to control and eliminate malaria. The theme also reflects the ambitious goals and targets set out in a draft post-2015 strategy to be presented to the World Health Assembly in May.
By Abdoulie Nget