The Gambian Chapter of the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) yesterday held a one-day seminar for senior reporters and newspaper editors as part of events marking this year’s world malaria day.
The event, funded by the AMMREN Secretariat in Ghana, was held at the Center for Innovation Against Malaria (CIAM) in Kanifing. Among the topics discussed included the current state of malaria in The Gambia; state of the pheomococal vaccine trial in The Gambia; sharing information on malaria research; and the importance of the usage of Insecticide Treated Bed nets (ITNS).
“Over the years, The Gambia has registered significant strides in the control and prevention of malaria in the country, through the change of treatments policy and the provision of anti-malaria drugs (Coartem) in all public health facilities, as well as increasing community mobilization and participation to prevent malaria,” the AMMREN Gambia Coordinator Mr. Momodou Faal said.
But he said regardless of the gains registered in the fight against malaria, it is clear that much more needs to be done to ensure a malaria free society. He said that he is optimistic the achievements registered will continue with the help of the media.
AMMREN is a leading organisation in the fight against the killer disease and always reasons that it is necessary to commemorate World Malaria Day in all its member countries.
He noted that AMMREN, which is marking the Day for the 4th time in its 10 member countries in Africa, has been publishing a quarterly magazine “Eyes on Malaria” and with detail information available on its website.
He charged that attention must be focused on monitoring and evaluation of malaria policies at all levels to ensure proper implementation of programmes, identify problems, trends or constraints, evaluate the impact of interventions, and ensure accountability.
He said attention should also be given to the Abuja Declaration, which was passed by 53 African Heads of State in April 2000, to intensify their efforts in the fight against malaria.
The Deputy Programme Manager of National Malaria Control Programme (NMATC), Balla Kandeh said the Ministry of Health values the fight against malaria in the country over the years.
Mr. Kandeh said over the years, they have been partnering with the media, because they have an important role in disseminating the information to the public. He also commends efforts made by their partners in the roll-back-malaria initiative.