The global toll of malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) remains staggering, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Departmental news from the World Health Organization published in June 2022 stated that in 2020 alone an estimated 627,000 people died from malaria and there were 241 million new cases of the disease.

The World Body is concerned that progress towards the 2023 malaria target for Commonwealth countries, as well as the 2030 targets of the WHO Global Malaria Strategy, is not on track.

The report stated that “About half of the world’s population is still missing out on the services they need to prevent, detect and treat the disease.”

In his observation of World Malaria Day and action to inform the public about cleaning up the environment to reduce the spread of malaria, Director General of the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) Dr. Baba Yakubu Mohammed urged other stakeholders to clean up the surrounding drains of a large market, the UTC market in Area 10, of Garki district, in Abuja.

Mohammed, who was accompanied by Federal Capital Territory chairman of the Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN) Terungwa Abari, said the exercise was to further drive advocacy for a clean environment for healthy living among Nigerians.

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The exercise that was part of the celebration of World Malaria Day, which is held annually on August 20, witnessed an awareness walk from Area 3 to the popular UTC market in Area 10.m, all in the Garki district of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

According to the Director General of EHORECON, malaria continued to be a public health challenge that must be eliminated from the health life of Nigerians by doing the simple but most effective things to prevent the female Anopheles from reproducing in the living environment.

He said this effort would reduce the mosquito population and drastically reduce the malaria infection among the population, increasing the economic well-being of the citizens as the money spent on malaria drugs would be used for other family purposes.

He noted that another way would be to scientifically attack the malaria vector to depopulate the malaria-causing vector in the environment and prevent the malaria attack.

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His words: “The environment plays an important role when it comes to disease prevention, whatever we give to our environment, we get in return.

“We know that any disease caused by a vector can be eliminated if we attack the vector. Attacking the vector also means a method that is not in the rough way because we know that mosquitoes play an important role in our ecosystem.

“So we don’t come with the mission to eliminate mosquitoes, we have to eliminate malaria, not mosquitoes,” he stressed.

“We come based on our skills that are based on scientific research. We are coming up with new and integrated methods that require physical, chemical and biological methods to tackle mosquitoes and eliminate malaria,” Mohammed told the audience.

For its part, PCO Terungwa Abari, the chairman of Abuja Chapter of the Pest Control Association of Nigeria (PECAN), PCO Terungwa Abari said that malaria poses a serious danger to humanity as it is responsible for billions of deaths since humanity.

According to him, the recent data shows that Africa still has a long way to go with the 2030 target to fight neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which includes Malaria.m.

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Terungwa, who said malaria posed a greater threat to human lives than Bandit, and terrorist attacks urged Nigerians to maintain a clean environment without being encouraged to do so and to save huge family resources that were used to buy medicines for more wholesome family needs.

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