Posted on September 26, 2018
About 23,000 volunteer workers have been enlisted by the management of Transforming Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Optimal Pregnancy (TIPTOP) to assist in its fight against the scourge of malaria in Ebonyi State.
At the moment, the group is running a pilot scheme in Ohaukwu Council from where the scheme would be spread across the 13 local government areas, depending on its success. The volunteers are working in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.
This was disclosed by the Country Manager of TIPTOP, Dr. Bright Orji, when the group and other healthcare workers led by the Head, Case Management Unit, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Abuja, Dr. Nnenna Ogbulafor, paid a courtesy call on Governor David Umahi, represented by his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, at the weekend.
Orji said already, 575 villages and 63 primary health centres have been covered even as Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) has been distributed to pregnant women to ensure the prevention of malaria and reduction of maternal and child mortality.
“We have reached out to all the communities in Ohaukwu Local Government Area; reaching out to 575 villages and 23,000 villagers brought together in a community mobilisation meeting. And all of them have chosen what we call community that take distribution. These are volunteers who are going to support the health workers to preach to women to ensure they go for antenatal care and at the same time receive SP at the community level.
“We also have moved forward to train community health extension workers who are going to work at the primary healthcare centres in Ohaukwu and we are covering all the health facilities in Ohaukwu; about 63 of them and all of them are receiving this intervention. Basically, we are saturating the local government to ensure that every woman that is pregnant in Ohaukwu will attend antenatal care and receive this service,” he said.
The Project Director, Orji, explained that the project is being sponsored by Unitaid.
“TIPTOP basically is to prevent malaria in pregnancy. Every year, the statistics show that 11 percent of women die as a result of maternal mortality caused by malaria; and when you come to the South East, it is very high numbers.”