Chinagozi Adindu, the executive secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHDA), has warned that malaria could lead to mental health complications if left untreated.
Mr Adindu, a medical doctor, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia, on Tuesday.
He advised people to always eliminate mosquitoes in their environment, saying that malaria was caused by plasmodium, while the female anopheles mosquitoes happened to be the known vectors.
Mr Adindu said that when left untreated, the disease could lead to complications such as cerebral malaria, which causes swelling of the blood vessels in the brain that could result in brain damage or mental problems.
He described malaria as the leading cause of death, among the communicable diseases in the country, and in sub-Saharan Africa, without any discrimination against its victims.
He said there have been so many cases of the disease in the state, adding that the ASPHDA have come up with ideas and strategies to fight the scourge.
Some of the measures, he explained, included health education and engagement of the environment health officers, to ensure a healthier and better environment.
According to him, the agency was also distributing mosquito nets to people, as well as promoting the use of rapid diagnostic kits to check if one has malaria or not.
“We also have anti-malaria drugs and there are so many of them in circulation now. We can prevent malaria by observing simple environmental health rules, such as keeping our environments clean and making sure that we do not have stagnant water around,” he said.