Chinagozi Adindu, the executive secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHDA), has warned that malaria could lead to mental health complications if left untreated.
Mr Adindu, a medical doctor, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia, on Tuesday.
He advised people to always eliminate mosquitoes in their environment, saying that malaria was caused by plasmodium, while the female anopheles mosquitoes happened to be the known vectors.
Mr Adindu said that when left untreated, the disease could lead to complications such as cerebral malaria, which causes swelling of the blood vessels in the brain that could result in brain damage or mental problems.
He described malaria as the leading cause of death, among the communicable diseases in the country, and in sub-Saharan Africa, without any discrimination against its victims.
He said there have been so many cases of the disease in the state, adding that the ASPHDA have come up with ideas and strategies to fight the scourge.
Some of the measures, he explained, included health education and engagement of the environment health officers, to ensure a healthier and better environment.
According to him, the agency was also distributing mosquito nets to people, as well as promoting the use of rapid diagnostic kits to check if one has malaria or not.
“We also have anti-malaria drugs and there are so many of them in circulation now. We can prevent malaria by observing simple environmental health rules, such as keeping our environments clean and making sure that we do not have stagnant water around,” he said.
Mr Adindu expressed hope over the newly developed malaria vaccine, which, he said, had been proven to be highly effective, stressing that it would help to fight the scourge, when made available.
The ASPHDA boss urged the people to prevent malaria and other communicable diseases, by keeping their environments clean, as well as maintaining basic hygiene.
The World Health Organisation had set aside April 25 as World Malaria Day, with this year’s theme as: “Reaching the zero malaria target.”
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