The Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) has said the Federal Government will no longer need to commit $300 million to ending malaria epidemic if the citizens can ensure their environment are well kept and personal hygiene maintained.
This assertion was made by the National President of the Association, Mr Samuel Akingbehin while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
He affirmed the environmental health is pivotal to ending malaria disease in Nigeria.
”It was in the news few days ago that the Federal Government earmarked $300 million for elimination of malaria.
”Such money should be used for other capital projects because environmental health – sanitation and personal hygiene – is capable of reducing the burden of malaria.
”Every individual, every government should embrace it because what you throw to the environment, the environment will throw back at you,” he said.
Mr Samuel said environmental wastes and malaria cannot be separated so getting rid of one will eliminate the other
Speaking further, he said, waste comprises miscellaneous articles, rubbish, bottles, water retaining items and others, therefore, when water is retained by wastes, mosquitoes will be breed.
”Apart from water retaining items, refuse blocking our drains also results in stagnant water. When that happens, it creates a veritable avenue for breeding of mosquitoes, and these mosquitoes will transmit malaria to man.
”Malaria can be controlled through effective environmental sanitation.
“If our water bodies are made free-flowing, the vector which is mosquito will not breed there, and when the vector is eliminated or reduced drastically, it translates to reduction of malaria and malaria burden.
”If living rooms or houses are spread with net in the windows, mosquitoes will be prevented from coming in contact with human blood,” Akingbehin explained.
Speaking on preventive measure against the disease, the EHOAN president advocated the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent mosquitoes from having contact with man.
The EHOAN president advised that flowers in the environment should be regularly trimmed to avoid mosquitoes and water-retaining plants such as like banana, plantain and cocoyam should be removed from the immediate environment to reduce breeding of mosquitoes.
”It is the duty of every individual to make sure that water does not stagnate in his premises.
”People should fill up low line portions of their compounds to ensure that drainage systems are flowing free.
”People should make sure that wells are covered and that refuse within the compounds are closed in a tight-fitting receptacle to avoid breeding of mosquitoes so that, together, we can chase malaria out,” he concluded.
It should be recalled the 2018 World Malaria Day was celebrated on Wednesday, April 25th with the theme: ”Ready To Beat Malaria”.