Oga Mosquito, come and be going with your malaria – Emeka Nwolisa

Oga Mosquito, come and be going with your malaria – Emeka Nwolisa

How does one begin to describe this alika-like and lepacious blood sucking  insect with so much ability to do evil.

Tatafos would want to make us believe that we owe the bloody irritant numerous  gbosas for its role in making our colonial masters leave.  The gist is that descendants of Mungo Park after several encounters with mosquitoes and the attendant malaria had to agree to leave in spite of the flow of the proverbial milk and honey in our country. Oya, madam female anopheles mosquito stand up to be recognized. The malaria you cause really caused big time wahala.

The 25th day of April each year is commonly marked as world malaria day. The day is often used to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.  The theme for 2017 is ‘End Malaria for Good’.   

Truly Malaria has to be ended but eh go hard small oh.  According to the latest WHO estimates, released in December 2016, there were 212 million cases of malaria in 2015 and 429, 000 deaths. Children under 5 years of age were mostly affected and they accounted for more than two-thirds of these deaths. It is often stated that  a child under 5 years of age dies every two minutes somewhere on this earth as a result of malaria.

Source

Malaria remains a  major health problem in Nigeria. It accounts for about 60% of outpatient visits in health facilities and the attendant loss of man hours and resources spent in treatment is colossal. Children aged five years and below, pregnant women, people living with HIV/AIDS, people with sickle cell anaemia and people coming into Nigeria from countries in Europe and North America who have little or no resistance are most at risk. The most common symptom of malaria is fever but it should be noted that not every fever is as a result of malaria.

Ways of preventing malaria include use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor spraying of insecticides and use of skin sprayed mosquito repellents.  Removal of all sources of stagnant water and generally good sanitation and healthy behaviour are also essential.

Treatment involves use of Artemisininbased combination therapies  (ACTs). While the ACTs are very effective for treatment, certain practices have been shown to reduce efficacy. These include taking inadequate and inappropriate dosages, not taking the drug at the appropriate time intervals and taking vitamin C or any drink containing Ascorbic acid concurrently. These drinks include the commonly available fruit juices children more or less take on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, why does the mosquito like to buzz around our ears? The igbos have an answer. According to igbo folklore, the mosquito is said to have asked the ear to marry him, whereupon the ear responded with torrents of  irritating laughter. ‘How much longer do you think you will live?’  The ear supposedly asked. ‘You are already a skeleton.’  Since this rebuff, the mosquito seeks every opportunity to remind the ear that it is still alive. Naturally, after the reminder, it would deliver the coup de grace with a bite.

Oya, Oga mosquito, we have accepted you are still alive and with many more years to live but please in the name of everything you hold scared…..come and be going, your wahala don too much!

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