Malaria is a chronic problem in Nigeria today. People battle malaria all year round. It is a never ending battle. One woman who visited us over the weekend was complaining that mosquitos even invade the mosquito nets she and her family use to ward off malaria-carrying mosquitos.
So, buying drugs to treat malaria is something that she has to constantly budget for in other to save her own life and the life of her children.
This is a woman that can be described as a middle-class Nigerian. So what of Nigerians in the lower wrung of the ladder – Nigerians who struggle to eat even once a day? These struggling masses have to eat to ward off hunger that can lead to starvation and death, so how do they take away money from food to buy anti-malaria drugs?
This is serious: malaria – a sickness that has been reduced in many countries has become a way of life in Nigeria, or should we say a constant, never ending threat to life that has put Nigerian lives under threat, year in year out.
One issue is that there are simply too many mosquitoes in Nigeria, and they breed a lot in the street gutters. One way our ministries of environment can help make this country a better place is for them to institute a war against mosquitos in the gutters.
Since mosquitoes breed heavily in gutters with stagnant water, the minitstries of environment should make the clearing of stagnant water in our gutters a topmost priority. NonGovernmental Organizations also have a large role to play in this matter. They should take permission from minstries of environment to implement gutter cleaning projects.
Insecticides should not be used as they can also cause harm to people living around if sprayed indiscrminately, and would probably be a waste of funds in reducing breeding in the stagnant waters.
Also, the ministries of environment should establish labs where captured annophelles mosquitos are genetically pevented from being carriers of malaria. The mosquitos should be treated in such a way that they can pass on genes that would prevent their offspring from being carriers of malaria.
And then these treated mosquitos should be released into the air to go and procreate and multiply. When this is done, gradually, the number of mosquitos that won’t be carriers of malaria parasite will increase and malaria will reduce in Nigeria. How do I know this can work? I have watched a documentary of such a project in foreign country.
Let us tackle malaria now so that fighting against it stops being a life-long fight in Nigeria.