Group Calls For More Participation In The Fight Against Malaria In C’River

As part of ways to increase usage of the just distributed Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs), and to continue the fight against Malaria in Cross River State, the state Advocacy, Communication, and Social Mobilization (ACSM) Core Group has called for the need to prioritize high-level advocacy to relevant authorizes, individuals, organizations across the state to help curb malaria.

This according to the group would address the challenge of malaria in the state, particularly in hard-to-reach communities.

Speaking at the review meeting organized by USAID Breakthrough ACTION Nigeria in Calabar, on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, the Director of Public Health, Cross River State Ministry of Health, Dr. Offor Bassey mentioned that the meeting was important as it would help reignite the energies of the members of the group to do more on issues regarding Malaria.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Cross River State ACSM Core Group, Chief Sir Francis Edet stated that the essence of the meeting was to encourage members of the group to be active and to continue to raise awareness and promote the adoption of positive attitudes and behaviors towards the prevention and management of malaria among the general population in Cross River and environs through advocacy and public sensitization in targeted communities.

Stressing the need for the state government to always provide counterpart funding for the implementation of malaria activities, the Chairman thanked BA-N for always standing at the front burner to support and provide demand creation on Malaria activities as the need arises.

While urging members of the group to be active and revive the group, the Cross River State Coordinator for BA-N, Mrs. Pascaline Edim noted that if all members of the group take the bull by the horns and start creating Malaria activities, it will help curb malaria in the state.

She mentioned that the ACSM Core Group in the state has been inactive for a while, and have not functioned as supposed, adding that consistent advocacy visit to different stakeholders will help create a sustainable way of fighting Malaria in the state.

Speaking further, she explained that though the mass distribution of ITNs has ended, there is a need to consistently sensitize the masses on the need to sleep inside the net and not for any other purpose.

While briefing the group on the overview of Malaria activities in the state, the Program Manager, State Malaria Elimination Program, Dr. Godwin Effa noted that the net distribution campaign was a success as all the LGAs across the state were able to get the nets.

He enjoined members of the core group to join the fight against Malaria in the state, stressing that community engagement outreach remains the best way to get rid of malaria.

Also, the Cross River State Social Mobilization Officer, BA-N, Mrs. Mercy Asuquo charged the group to go out for resource mobilization and try to come up with modalities that will make the group sustainable even without support from implementing partners.

She stated that the group should have an operational plan, and an account, and function independently.

Earlier in her remark, the ACSM Focal Person, Mrs. Amayo Efiok noted that the group had carried out some advocacy visits to some stakeholders, but was paused for some time due to the many activities in the state.

She assured that after the review meeting, the group will be running at top speed to ensure that everything that is needed to be done is done correctly.

Stakeholders present at the meeting also include the State Health Education Officer, Mrs. Ekpor, representatives from the religious institutions, representatives from NOA, SPHCDA, AGPMPN, BA-N Provider Behavior Change Officer, and the media, amongst others.

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