The federal government has urged its partners to double their efforts at resource mobilisation in support of malaria elimination.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made the call on Thursday at an event to commemorate the World Malaria Day for 2019 in Abuja.
Adewole stressed the need for private sector operators to commit more resources to support the fight against the disease.
The minister, who acknowledged the theme of the year’s celebration – “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” – and the slogan “Join Me”, said both expressions reflect the federal government’s commitment to ensuring a malaria-free country and the desire to have all Nigerians join the fight against malaria.
He said that the huge resources required to combat malaria could only come from the government, its partners and the private sector.
Adewole added that every Nigerian has a role to play in the effort to eliminate the disease.
“There are simple things that we can do like keeping our environments clean; like sleeping inside the insecticidal nets, and going for laboratory test when we become feverish.
“And if the tests show that you have the malaria parasite, ensure that you are treated with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT).
“Malaria is still a public health challenge. According to the World Malaria Report, Nigeria still accounts for 25 per cent of global malaria burden.
“We also account for 19 per cent of deaths from malaria. Although funding for malaria control has remained relatively stable since 2010, we need to improve on the level of our investment to achieve at least 40 per cent reduction in malaria prevalence and mortality rates globally by 2020,” the minister said.
Adewole noted that the commemoration of the Day provides the opportunity for a review of strategies being used and raise the tempo with a view to significantly reducing the burden of malaria in the country.
“Let me inform you that we are fully committed to malaria elimination.
“We have developed innovative programmes that will increase access to funds for malaria programme implementation, some of which include the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, and the Save One Million Lives project.
“We are also asking for additional funding support for malaria programme.
“In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari approved an incentive funding of $18.5 million for the procurement of Long Lasting Insecticidal Treated Nets (LLIN).
“We carried carried out LLINs replacement campaigns in eight states.
“In order to ensure availability of malaria commodities, a national quantification exercise was conducted in conjunction with state governments and other partners,” he added.
According to the minister, the federal government is in the process of setting up an expert group comprising researchers in the field of malaria to provide guidance on country strategies for malaria elimination.
He further said that a Malaria Programme Review (MPR) effort was on-going in the country.
He added that the outcome of a comprehensive review of the malaria programme would inform changes in strategies and interventions where necessary. (NAN)