By Uchenna Ugwu
Ebonyi state has launched a programme designed to tackle malaria menace in pregnant women.
The programme, Transforming Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Optimal Pregnancy (TIPTOP), was launched in Ohaukwu Local Government Area, selected for the pilot project.
The programme is sponsored by Jhpiego, an international non-profit health organisation affiliated with Johns Hopkins University; the group was founded in 1973 and initially called the Johns.
The Country Project Manager of TIPTOP Nigeria, Dr Bright Oji, who spoke, said that the essence of the implementation was to protect pregnant women from malaria.
Oji said that malaria in pregnant women causes abortion, low birth weight in babies, as well as contribute to maternal deaths.
Oji said that the effort of the team was to ensure Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTP), reaches all women in the community.
“With support coming from UNITAID, Jhpiego and her partners, we will be implementing TIPTOP to reach all pregnant women in Ohaukwu LGA.
“The state was selected on the basis of malaria prevalence rate to further complement our ongoing efforts with Maternal and Child Survival Project, “Oji said.
Oji said that Jhpiego would work with other agencies like the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) that is charged with the responsibility of coordinating all malaria prevention and control activities in Nigeria.
She listed other agencies to include, Reproductive Health Division of Family Health Department, World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and other stakeholders.
“I urge all and sundry to accept, own it and support it as it belongs to everyone. We will enter every home, family and kindred to ensure success of the implementation, she added.
Mrs Rachael Umahi, wife of Ebonyi governor, commended the efforts of Jhpiego.
“I commend the courage of Jhpiego for all its interventions and programmes in the state and the country at large.
“The choice of Ebonyi and Ohaukwu LGA in particular for the project is a welcome development, “ Umahi said. (NAN)