COVID-19: Group Cautions against Retrogression in Anti Malaria Drive

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) national advocacy group has said that Nigeria is witnessing a slowing down in intervention efforts against malaria scourge due to the attention being focused on containing COVID-19.

The Global Fund assisted accountability advocacy group also expressed worry that the country may witness the doubling of casualties from Malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis due to Covid-19 imposed disruptions in healthcare delivery system.

ACOMIN also warned that the country runs the risk of a complete reversal in the progress so far made in anti-malaria and tuberculosis campaign.

Speaking during the presentation of the group’s health sector situation report in Abuja recently, the group’s National Coordinator, Mr. Ago Ipinmoye said that analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNAIDS and Stop TB partnership indicates that annual death tolls across the three diseases could double if nothing drastic is done to arrest the situation.

“Analysis from WHO, UNAIDS, Stop TB partnership and others suggest that this annual death toll across the three diseases could nearly double, wiping out years of progress, if we do not act decisively.

” The scale of disruption to HIV, TB malaria as a result of COVID-19 is indicated by the latest Global survey, covering 106 countries, which suggests that approximately three quarters of HIV, TB, and malaria programmes have been impacted.
Ipinmoye said that the situation is even worse in some of the vulnerable communities where health care services are underserved.

“They are under the threat of COVID-19 and are at the risk of a resurgence of malaria, HIV and TB. As the resources that used to serve these communities which were inadequate to begin with is stretched to serve the needs of covid-19, alongside the economic downturn occasioned by the lockdown could result in nutritional deficiencies and collapse of services,” he said.