Adopt Malaria Eradication Policy, House Urges Health Ministry

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health to move the National Malaria Plan from the prevention stage to Eradication stage, and to strongly consider the use of Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloethane (DDT) in its bid to rid the country of the disease.

The House noted that at least 300,000 Nigerians die annually from malaria, with 65 per cent of them children under the age of five. It mandated its Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria control to investigate the effect of DDT and report back in three weeks.

The resolution of the House followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Christopher Ngoro Agibe (Cross River PDP) who bemoaned the lack of eradication policy towards malaria.

“…but is more concerned with preventive and curative measures such as the use of mosquito treated nets, insecticides and pharmaceutical products among others, which have done little room affect the grim statistics surrounding the health scourge,” he said.

He added that several countries including the US, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Australia and some part of Europe have used the odourless chemical to control the breeding of mosquitoes, while South Africa Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda in recent times have used it to reduce the disease by 90 per cent, while tending towards its eradication.

“It costs about two dollars (or six hundred naira) to spray a house with DDT, whereas the substitutes for DDT which are less efficient are ironically much more expensive and it is also noteworthy that spraying DDT yearly can cut down infection of malaria by close to 90 per cent”, the lawmaker added.