The Plateau government on Tuesday tasked religions and community leaders to support measures aimed at controlling malaria and promoting family planning.
Mr Gonen Lakda, Director, Public Health, Ministry of Health, gave the charge during a 3-Day Workshop organised by USAID/Breakthrough Action-Nigeria at Crispan Hotel, Rayfield, Jos.
The theme of the workshop is “Orientation meeting for Social and behaviour change advocacy core group”.
“Malaria is a deadly disease which, if not properly and effictively tackled, will keep ravaging precious lives in the country.
“This government is glad that this workshop is organised for religious and community leaders given their tremendous influence on the people within their domains.
“The fight should not be left to the government or health workers alone. It should be everybody’s concern,” Lakda asserted.
He noted that in spite of the distribution of Mosquito treated nets over the years, control of malaria still remains a huge challenge.
While emphasising the need for synergy among government and stakeholders, he called for prudent awareness on the importance of family planning, pointing out that child birth spacing wass crucial to healthy living.
Also speaking, Dr Moses Sunday, Programme Coordinator, Breakthrough Action-Nigeria, disclosed the the organisation was in 21 countries including Nigeria, in the efforts to end malaria and promote family planning.
“Individual/family behaviour has been noted as key barrier to malaria and child birth control.
“The main goal of our activities is for the people to maintain a healthy living in Nigeria. That comes only through taking healthy decisions specially, by religions and community leaders,” Sunday stated.
Mrs. Rahila Telfim, Plateau Family Planning Coordinator, in her remarks, lamented the rate of infant mortality and the dismal 14.
4 per cent public acceptance of modern method of family planning in Nigeria,
Represented by Mrs. Grace Panse, she regretted that “since 2015, no budget has been approved and released toward Family planning in Nigeria.”
She, however, said that 553 Primary Health Care (PHCs), were offering Family planning services in Plateau, in addition to JUTH and Binham University Teaching Hospital.