Nigeria urges US to help fight malaria

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Monday urged the U.S to support the Federal Government’s efforts to eliminate malaria in Nigeria by 2020.

Adewole, who made the call in Abuja at the 2017 World Malaria Day celebration organised by the U.S Embassy, said that the federal government was committed to ending malaria by 2020.

The minister said that with the indices available, the country was still far from its dream of `Malaria free Nigeria’.

“Our target is to achieve zero mortality rate from malaria by 2020, very ambitious target but doable, we can achieve it; that no Nigeria died of malaria by 2020.

“We are working together with the Governors’ Forum to build a strong alliance on health system, to treat malaria continue with the prevention of malaria and make sure we take malaria off the street.

“I use this occasion to solicit for more support to enable us achieve a pre-elimination phase in 2020,” he said.

He commended the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) for its support, which he said included financial, logistics, technical input also by provision of nets, indoor residual spray and other anti-Malaria commodities.

Others, he said, were implementation of malaria and pregnant initiative; advocacy and campaign; monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building at all levels of government.

According to him, USAID/Presidential Malaria Initiative is covering 11 States and the National Malaria Programme with a substantial investment of about 490 million dollars in Nigeria.

He said that the effort showed that malaria was being attacked by all fronts by the supporting partners, indicating that malaria would soon be over in Nigeria.

“A look at some indices shows that we are still far from our dream of malaria free Nigeria.

“Our current Malaria Strategic Plan which is meant to lead us to pre-elimination, has been praised for being focused and articulate, but it is coming at a time when the resources for malaria control are dwindling.

“In addition, there are limited resources for effective programme coordination, monitoring and evaluation,” he said.

According to him, we cannot pretend to be unaware that malaria is still affecting and still killing; “we must redouble our efforts so we want to ask for more’’.

He assured that the Federal Ministry of Health under his leadership would account for “every penny” donated to this course.

Adewole said that the federal government had also allocated more resources to Malaria control programme in the 2017 appropriation.

The Deputy Head of Mission, U.S Embassy, David Young, in his remark called on Nigerians to be committed to sleeping in a treated bed net every night to end malaria for good.

“Ending malaria for good is achievable if we play our individual and collective roles, remember that malaria is preventable – ensure that you and all members of your house hold sleep under a treated bed net every night.

“Malaria is diagnosable; always demand a malaria diagnostic test before accepting treatment, malaria is treatable.

“Once a fever is confirmed to be malaria Artemisinin Based Combination Therapy (ACTs) are the only effective treatment.

“Do not use counterfeit or substandard drugs like chloroquine; they do not cure malaria,” Young however warned. (NAN)

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