Address by The Hon. Commissioner of Health, Bayelsa State in Commemoration of The 2018 World Malaria Day.


I welcome everyone here today as we join the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day with the theme “Ready to Beat Malaria-Together We Can”. The World Malaria Day which takes place on the 25th April each year is an internationally recognized day, highlighting the global efforts to control malaria and celebrating the gains that have been made thus far. Over the past couple of years, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives. There has however been an increase in the number of cases reported for malaria in the last year hence the need to renew and strengthen our collective efforts towards elimination of malaria.

Malaria is a serious public health disease which is Preventable, Treatable and Curable. Africa accounts for 90% of the 216 million malaria cases and 91% of 445,000 malaria deaths with Nigeria taking the lead globally – 27% of cases and 30% of deaths respectively. It accounts for 25% of infant death and 11% of maternal mortality. The Prevalence rate of Malaria in Bayelsa state is 36.2%. Indeed all hands must be on deck to reduce the menace of this preventable disease.

The Bayelsa State Government through the Ministry of Health on its part is committed to play its role actively to beat Malaria. Last year, 18,600 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) were distributed to pregnant women and children under Five years of age in various facilities in the 105 wards of Bayelsa State. The number is expected to triple this year. Our focus this year is to begin continuous routine distribution of the LLIN to first time Ante-natal Care clients and Children under 5 years during Immunization Sessions in the various health facilities across the state. Utilization of the LLIN by beneficiaries will be encouraged through the Community LLIN Utilization Support and Mentorship Scheme to increase utilization of LLINs in the state. We will scale up Health Enlightenment programmes advocating these 3 key Malaria messages 1) Sleeping Inside the Insecticide-Treated Nets every night 2) Test every suspected case of malaria or Fever before Treatment and 3) Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant woman (IPTp).

While, we appreciate all our Roll Back Malaria Partners and other Development/ implementing Partners in the state for their support and efforts towards elimination of Malaria in Bayelsa State, we enjoin other cooperate bodies to join in this fight against Malaria. We salute the various media houses who have been a commendable partner in the dissemination of the above malaria key messages to our people. Permit me to also commend all the students and their respective schools who participated in the Malaria Essay and Fine Arts competition for Secondary School Students. You are all Winners. We are particularly delighted by the numerous brilliant entries received.

Finally, as individuals, Communities, Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, Health Professionals, Religious Bodies and Stakeholders, let us use today to reflect on the roles we can each play to beat Malaria. We are Ready to Beat Malaria!. I am Ready to Beat Malaria!!- Together We Can.

Thank you

Prof. Ebitimitula Nicholas Etebu
Hon Commissioner

Below are pictures of Hon. Commissioner presenting gifts