‘Malaria Reduces GDP of Nigeria By 30% Annually’

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Ayodeji Ake

Coalitions of non-governmental organisations, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI) and Westfield Development Initiative, have said the burden of malaria parasite has consequently reduced the Nigerian work force and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by around 20 per cent to 30 per cent annually.

At a massive screening and distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets at Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State recently to commemorate the World Malaria Day, the coalition noted that many Nigerians have been arrested by malaria unaware and unable to access health services due to lack of fund.

The Executive Director, YEDI, Mr. Oje Ivagba, noted that the initiative have been committed to preaching the gospel of malaria prevention in rural communities annually to reduce its menace.

He said: “The goal of this programme is to provide healthcare access to residents of this community and to create awareness about malaria prevention and treatment. We have doctors, pharmacists and other health workers around to carry out this exercise and other public health issues the residents are facing. We have over 10 doctors and about 45 pharmacists here who will be assisting them.

“Malaria kills and there is a need for all hands on deck to take preventive measures. We also understand that most of the community members do not know how to use the net. We will fill the gap by demonstrating how they can make use of them appropriately,” Ivagba added.

While distributing free drugs, he said, over a thousand members of the community have been gifted with LLITNs.

A member of Westfield Development Initiative (WDI), Mr. Gboyega Fatimileyin said the initiative has been playing a significant role in battling malaria at the grass root level to deliver Nigerians from dying.

According to him, “No doubt, with the help of NGOs like us and government, we are beating down malaria. We realised that in less-privileged areas, malaria is endemic and many of them do not have the ability to prevent it. That is why we are preaching preventive measurement. Malaria has no border, so we need to fight till the end.”

Present at the event was Miss Nigeria 2017, Peace Ehiguese who expressed joy for being part of the exercise to give succour to Nigerians on malaria.