In an effort to bolster the fight against malaria, Sokoto Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has approved the establishment of a dedicated agency for the control of the dreaded tropical disease.
To be known as the Sokoto Agency for Malaria Control, the new body will take off in January 2017 and will be the focal point of implementing all policies related to malaria prevention and treatment in the state.
With this approval, Sokoto becomes the first state in Nigeria to create such an agency.
A statement issued in Sokoto Sunday by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said the new agency will provide administrative, secretarial, communications, and logistical support in push to contain malaria and related diseases.
It added that the agency will also fulfil roles supporting working and technical groups set up by both the state and federal governments, as well as development partners and other stakeholders.
Other responsibilities include offering and providing technical support to other health agencies and partners to improve the health of the people through prevention and control.
Similarly, the agency will support policy makers in designing and implementing evidence-based interventions, assessing the burden of the disease and monitoring progress towards reducing mortality, by integrating these activities with management and dissemination of technical knowledge through strengthening of disease surveillance and response systems and public health programmes and services.
Meanwhile, Sokoto State Government has commended the Nigeria Army for banning the sale of illicit drugs and its decision to seal shops selling same at the Giginya Barracks in the state capital.
The government said years of subtle diplomacy over the issue has paid dividends when the army authorities saw reason in banning the illicit trade.