Malaria for Poor

It is unthinkable but real what the poor amongst us face especially those living in slums. These set of starved and malnourished people find their health is in pitiable condition, and their environment are filthy; which allows mosquitoes to bread. Poor health care is issue and affect poor children the more. Slum children are half starved with poor food intake; inadequate education, dirty water and other neglected welfare. Poor pregnant women with their unborn children face high risk to mosquito bites; that can result in death. It will shock you to know that malaria kills over 300,000 children annually in Nigeria. This is unacceptable.

Why does malaria still kill poor African children to date? To me, the answer is basically answered by those we elected into office. They seem they don’t really care about us. Access to health care is just too expensive for the poor, and they are located in far distance places from the slums. At hospital or clinics, there are no drugs and the personnel are so lackadaisical. That is not best to define our Government hospital but the description is the real truth. The elected cares more on what comes into their pocket from health related contract. Take for instance what is made when monies meant for drainage systems in poor rural communities are embezzled? Or, when the contract for a drainage system is inadequately funded? Or when contractors of the drainage system do substandard jobs and walk away, and when he walks away, he is on health tourism in India, UK AND USA etc. Isn’t that bad? Isn’t that wickedness to the poor? So tell me why wouldn’t mosquito breed and kill the vulnerable?

There are so campaigns estimated at millions of Naira for the fight of malaria in Nigeria and Africa in general, and the campaign seems too centered in urban cities than poorest of poor communities where we live. Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with NetsforLife, a Non Government Organization with five other donors donated 6.3 million mosquito nets geared at free distribution across Africa. Have you seen the nets in your slums? That is for another. Society for Family Health is an NGO in Nigeria that is worth mentioned as they have over the years carried several campaigns on malaria prevention and eradication of malaria in Nigeria. They have done well in this. Yet it is not utopia.

According to World Health Organization, malaria is still the leading cause of death among children under five in sub Sahara Africa. The disease cost Africa more than US$12 billion per annum in productivity loss.  Mosquito, a small flying blood sucking insect, is too dangerous than its size. Malaria is defined as a kind of fever conveyed by female mosquitoes called anopheles; which introduce parasites into the red blood cell by biting human. Mosquitoes are breed where there are no drainage provisions or were there are stagnated waters like gutters. It is only where majority poor lives that you’ll find no drainage systems, stagnated waters, dirt and waste dumping grounds.

Do you know that a child with malaria will not get full benefit of improved schooling? Chronic malaria also stunt physical growth of a child, distort mental development of a child, hampers the exploitation of natural resources, reduces agricultural production and impairs industry and commence. Recently, Nigeria and Ghana has been pin-point as two African countries where travelers from UK who visited the countries contacted malaria diseases most. It was reported that in 2010, almost 40% of UK resident who contacted the disease had either visited the two countries. Health Protection Agency (HPA) UK, therefore warns travelers to heed to advice on how to prevent malaria which is the world biggest killer, especially on their visit to the two malaria prone countries in Africa. That is alarming! This is sad, this is what the poor are left to face and battle everyday in Africa. Malaria kills and kill children the more. What are we to do?

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