Nollywood star Kate Henshaw who is known for films like When the Sun Sets, Stronger than Pain and being a judge on Nigeria’s Got Talent has enlisted in the battle to raise awareness about malaria and pledged to join advocacy efforts. She made the commitment on Thursday, October 6 , 2016 at a gathering of health editors with the National Malaria Elimination Programme and the Society for Family Health. The event held at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja.
Henshaw declared war to raise awareness in the fight against malaria with a 2020 target date for eliminating up to 80% of current cases . The programme is under the Global Fund for Malaria New Funding Model. During the event she said :
” I have committed myself to support the fight against malaria in Nigeria by letting people know the benefits of sleeping inside the long lasting Insecticidal Nets, especially for children under 5 and pregnant women . It is also very important to have a rapid diagnostic test done or microscopy done to be sure it is malaria before administering treatment with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy -(ACT)
She also stated :
” I implore the media to let Nigerians know that not all fevers are malaria; let Nigerians know that people are dying from malaria when malaria is a preventable and treatable illness; let Nigerians know that testing using RDT to confirm malaria before treatment is the way to go. The best medicine for malaria treatment is Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies- what we know as (ACTs). It is very affordable and accessible.”
Statistics gathered by public health NGO The Society for Health show that malaria inflicts high costs on nigeria. Out of pocket treatment and prevention costs as much as US $3 billion dollars annually. Malaria causes absenteeism in schools, offices and markets with effects on the economy. Malaria also accounts for 11 % of maternal mortality and 3 in 10 deaths of children less than five years old.