The Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah has officially launched the Training of Field Staff Third Malaria Indicator Survey for 2016 at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.
Delivering his keynote address Dr. Fofanah said malaria remains one of the biggest public health problems in Sierra Leone. Adding that over the years, the country has made progress in defining the effort required to control the impact of malaria among its Citizens, including the development of the Sierra Leone National Malaria Control Programme Strategic plan 2016-2020.
Dr. Fofanah described the 2016 Sierra Leone Malaria Indicator Survey as district specifics, and designed to measure the performance of each district and region to target household ownership of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and their use especially by children under five years of age and pregnant women. The survey also included diagnostic blood testing to determine malaria and anaemia prevalence among children age 6-59, the use of specific type of anti-malaria medications, treatment practices and timing of treatment of Fever in children under five years of age and knowledge, attitudes and practices of malaria in the general population.
He reiterated that the 2016 Malaria Indicator Survey represents the continued efforts in Sierra Leone to obtain reliable and accurate data on the aforementioned malaria issues and acknowledged the Financial support from Global Fund, the Technical working Group comprising members from the Health Ministry, World Health Organization, UNICEF, Statistics Sierra Leone, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Catholic Relief Services and other key partners.
He thanked the Senior Management and Staff of Statistics Sierra Leone and in particular the Demographic and Social Statistics Division, Geographic Information System Division and the Data processing Division that played key role in what he referred to as a national exercise.
The Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Chairman for the occasion, Dr. Brima Kargbo described the event as exciting times noting that they are at the beginning of a new venture in Post Ebola Recovery era, disclosing that the Ministry has critically drawn the curtain on the President’s Recovery Period after the Ebola Virus Disease.
“We must not miss this chance to make the national health delivery system a better one”; and encouraged the entire populace to prevent illness and death due to malaria through precautionary measures.
He noted that the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) was developed by the Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group (MERG) of Roll Back Malaria, and international partnership and com-mended participants who came from a far to take part in the process.
Giving an overview of the Survey, the Principal Investigator, Lt Col, Dr. Sahr Foday said the survey is targeting 6720 household nationwide, adding that the objectives are to detect parasite by microscopy, doing rapid diagnostic test and the treatment on malaria drug.
Other speakers included the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism Country Representative, Rev. Kargbo, and the Acting Country Representative, Catholic Relief Services, Mr. Kwame Akangah.