The National Coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP, Dr. Audu Bala Mohammed has disclosed that malaria kills an estimated 95,844 Nigerians and infects 57 million annually.
This burden, he noted, occurs despite efforts by the government at all levels, the private sector and the international community, to stem the tide of malaria in the country.
Mohammed said Nigeria accounts for 53 percent of malaria cases in West Africa and 25 percent of the global malaria burden, noting that: “Nigeria contributes more that 45 percent malaria deaths in West Africa which kills about 11 people per hour.”
Speaking during the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa end of year members meeting, Mohammed who was represented by the Director, Advocacy, Communication and social Mobilisation of NMEP, Chukwu Okoronkwo noted that Nigeria requires additional $551,354,810 million for procurement of intervention commodities to tackle the menace between 2018 and 2020.
He, however, said from 2010 to 2018, there had been a steady decline in malaria-related deaths from 145,000 to the current figure of 95, 844.
Due to financial incapacity, the NMEP boss admitted that intervention had not been on any significant scale in 13 states of the federation, adding that government and development partners had only met about 50 per cent of the required $551,354,810.
Consequently, Mohammed said government had approached some lending institutions, including the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), to raise some financial instruments to address the gaps in some of the identified states.
“Implications of unfilled gaps include risk of increased malaria morbidity and mortality, threat of a weakened work force with decreased productivity with consequences on development, loss of confidence in public health programs among others.”
Corroborating his views, Access Bank Head of Sustainability and Corporate Communications, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan urged Nigerians not to take malaria for granted.
“If you feel feverish please go to the hospital to be sure whether its malaria or not. let the test determine whether or not and in case you are positive comply with medication prescription.
She called for commitment of more resources to malaria prevention through advocacy and other intervention.
On her part, Country Manager, Nigeria, GBCHealth CAMA, Ochuko Keyamo-Onyige said that the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa, CAMA comprise of diverse coalition of companies with interests in Africa, “A GBCHealth-led initiative, CAMA channels the collective force of the private sector to drive impactful partnerships for malaria control and elimination in Africa from workplaces to communities.
“Our strategic plan for 2020-2022 is to accelerate the pace of malaria elimination by focusing on five critical areas which are promote and support business on workplace and community programs, policy and advocacy, partnerships, expand work in high-burden countries, communication and membership.”