…as Oyo moving to malaria free state In South West
From Ogundele Olanrewaju
Oyo state government on Wednesday, received sixteen electronic microscopes and other laboratory consumables donated by US President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMIs)
Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo,while receiving the equipment in Ibadan, said that Oyo state is moving gradually from a malaria burdensome state to a malaria free state in the South western Nigeria, saying there were reductions in the number of cases that confirmed to be malaria in recent times.
He said: “We have started to see a marked reduction in the number of cases that are confirmed to be malaria. More importantly, as Oyo state is transiting from a malaria burdensome state and moving towards being malaria-free, we need to start looking at making appropriate diagnoses.
“Diagnosis of malaria is evidenced by a positive rapid diagnostic test result, but the gold standard is still microscopy.
He maintained that the microscopes will assist the state to confirm the level of malaria in Oyo state periodically .
On the state’s reference laboratory, he said this will become fully operational within 2 months to ensure a viable system for diagnosis of new and old infectious diseases across the state.
According to him, “We are looking at a situation in which we have a laboratory in Oyo State that will be able to serve for a lot of issues, including infectious diseases like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis as well as any other diseases that are resurfacing within our climes.
“It is not appropriate for a state like us to be sending samples for something like cholera outside of the confines of the state for confirmation and we will do everything in our powers to ensure that is put in the past.”
Dr Oluwayemisi Ayandipo, the State Coordinator for US President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMIs), said functional microscopes are important to ensure malaria elimination in the state even as the donated microscopes were to be distributed to health facilities with high cliental burdens to improve malaria diagnosis and care.
She stated that PMIs were also supporting the state to have a quality assurance and quality control laboratory, where the teaching microscope will become useful in building the capacity of other medical laboratory scientists on malaria microscopy aside from the 26 PMIs trained laboratory scientists.
The event had in attendance, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusoji Adeyanju; Director Planing Research and Statistics, Dr Gbolahan Abass; Director Public Health, Dr Bunmi Ayinde; Director Secondary Health Care and Training, Dr Wale Falana among others.