The Deputy Health Minister furthered that the most vulnerable of this number are pregnant mothers and children, and this was the reason Government introduced the free health care initiative to further improve the health of women and children under five.
In addition, the Health and Sanitation Ministry is also treating patients, as long as they are tested and show positive of malaria in any of the health facilities in their communities, free malaria drugs will be distributed.
Dwelling on this year’s theme, “End Malaria for good”, Madam Cooper called on the public to observe the three “Ts” which is to test, treat, and track the killer disease, and advised parents to always sleep under insecticide treated net and to report all suspected cases of fever to the nearest health facility for immediate treatment, stressing that observing all of these will prevent malaria and help reduce the many deaths.
On behalf of non-governmental organisations, Madam Mariama Zombo of Plan International Sierra Leone informed the gathering that she was delighted that the organisers invited pregnant women, lactating mothers and school children who suffer most in times of crisis, and malaria is one of the world’s diseases that continue to affect them, socially and economically.
She recalled that many child charity organisations operating in the country have done a lot to promote the health status of women and children, noting that children have the right to health, and it is the responsibility of Government and its partners to ensure that their right is respected and given what they deserve.
Madam Zombo, while dilating on the danger of the disease, revealed that Plan International Sierra Leone over the years supported 10,000 women and children in malaria prevention and control, noting that every 30 seconds a child dies in Africa from the dreadful disease.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Brima Kargbo said as Sierra Leone joins the world to commemorate the day, it is the collective effort of all to join hands to end malaria.
As a medical practitioner, he stated that it pained him to see parents lose their children to a disease that is preventable, noting that they most times fail to observe the preventive measures of the disease.
He advised that parents follow the case management of malaria when fever, headache, vomiting, joint pain, loss of appetite are experienced; that they visit the nearest health facility or seek the help of a professional health worker.
Dr Kargbo said since year 2000- 2015 a lot has been done to reduce the rate of malaria from 33% to 14%, noting that despite the reduction the challenge is still there, and the fight is in the hands of both government and the public.