Access Bank, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria and Hacey Health Initiative have come together towards accelerating efforts to prevent malaria and save lives under the Malaria To Zero Initiative programme for grassroot people living in suburb and underprivileged environments across Nigeria and Africa at large.
This call was made during a community sensitisation session organised under the Malaria To Zero initiative for Mushin residents with no fewer than 1,000 Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets [LLINs] distributed.
It is apt to note that every year, about 100 million cases of malaria are recorded worldwide with sub-Saharan Africa bearing the burden for about 88 per cent of total incidences and 90 per cent of mortality resulting from malaria. Of this figure, pregnant women and children suffer the most from malaria with about 429 000 lives lost in 2015 alone.
The resulting health costs from lost productivity, prevention and treatment means that the Nigerian economy loses about $1.13 billion each year, depriving families, businesses and the Nigerian government capital that can be used to address developmental challenges.
â€œOwing to the mortality rate attributed to malaria, the grassroots remain the under-served that needs to be reached due to the high burden of malaria cases recorded in communities and Â inability to afford long lasting insecticide treated nets,â€Head of Sustainability, Access Bank Plc Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said.
Also according to the CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance, Dr. Muntaqa Umar Sadiq, one of the major sponsors of the initiative noted that there is the need to establish an innovative financing platform to compliment efforts from the government and target the root causes of under performances in the fight against malaria.
â€œDespite significant investment in the health system, we are yet to see commensurate results in terms of outcomes. Current programmes are inadequate and we need to do things differently, we need to be more innovative and rethink our intervention. We have had issues with data and complex governance arrangements,â€ Â Muntaqi stated.
â€œSome other African countries such as Morocco, Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan have been able to achieve zero malaria deaths. Why canâ€™t Nigeria be put towards that part of zero malaria?â€ He asked.
The Oba of Odi Olowo, Mushin, Fatai Irawo who led other traditional and community leaders to the event thanked the sponsors for enlightening his people and advised them to use the nets in their homes to ensure that malaria becomes a thing of the past for members of the community.