Stakeholders Raise Concern Over Report that 90% of Child’s Deaths in Jaba LGA are Caused by Malaria
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Stakeholders in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State, has expressed concern over the Health Management Information System (HMIS), 2019 report that 90% deaths among children under five years of age in LGA, were caused by malaria.
The stakeholders from the three pilot Wards of Chori, Duddu and Sab-chem in the LGA that includes; traditional and religious leaders, Ward Development Committees (WDCs), Women and Youths groups, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Officials of the LGA among others, raised the concern at the weekend in Kwoi, at a Town Hall meeting to deliberate on ways of funding for malaria.
The meeting was organized by Malaria Consortium, through a UKAid funded intervention project; Support to the National Malaria Project (SunNMap2), being implemented in three LGAs of Chikun, Kudan and Jaba in Kaduna State.
According to the report, 9 out of 10 children under five years of age that died were killed by malaria infection and that 57.9% of eligible children under five, that completed their immunization at the various health facilities were not giving the long lasting insecticidal mosquito net.
Similarly, the same 57.9% of pregnant women that attended Antae Natal Care (ANC) in various health facilities didn’t receive malaria prevention drugs.
The data showed that the donors have been doing their best by making provisions for the commodities at health facilities, and the state government has also made her stride in improving commodities, but the LGA is not doing enough.
The high rates of deaths by malaria, the stakeholders attributed to inadequate budgetary allocation and budgetary performance in addressing malaria issue in the LGA.
According to them, out of N60, 703, 950 that was allocated the health sector that should have contributed to addressing malaria endemic in the LGA for 2019, only N3, 999, 660 was released which represented 6.6% of the allocation.
Though they acknowledged that insecticide treated nets were distributed last year, they confirmed that most people in the communities don’t make use of them. They therefore appealed to the LGA authority for support in creations massive sensitization campaigns to make the commodities under the reason why they ought to be making use of them.
Shortage of health personnel is another serious problem the stakeholders mentioned as a major cause of malaria deaths. Another problem they identified was shortage of commodities at the health facilities, and pleaded with the authority to support in providing them.
The meeting provided the citizens an opportunity to present their issues to the LGA authority and also solicit for their intervention in increasing budgetary provision for funding to support malaria programming in the LGA.
Reacting to the issues raised by the citizens, Chairman of the LGA, Benjamin Jock, who was represented by Barr Council Secretary, Steven Daniel, expressed worries that such a high number of people are dying as a result of malaria infection.
He said the 2019 allocation was inherited by his administration, and that as the chairman of the Health Management Committee, he is committed to prioritizing the health of his people.
He blamed the refusal of some people not to use the treated nets as partly the reason why deaths rate as a result of malaria infection is high.
“The availability of nets is one of the most effective ways of preventing malaria, but unfortunately some are not using it. But as a government, we shall ensure that people appreciate it use irrespective of whatever excuse they have.
“We are making effort to ensure that we enforce, in terms of defaulters who have treated nets and are not using them. We equally want to make sure we move forward in terms of funding, whatever that is require to improve our citizens access to healthcare and ensure there is more result.
“And looking at the fact that we have a budget for health this, there is going to be a different from what we experienced last year. He assured.
On the issue of inadequate health personnel, the Chairman said it is not peculiar to Jaba LGA alone as the state government is currently addressing it by hiring over 3000 health workers that will be posted across health facilities in the state.