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Nigeria needs N1.89trn to fight malaria – Minister

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THE Nigerian government has said it needs N1.89 trillion to implement a five-year New Generation Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP, 2021-2025).

Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire said about N352 billion was needed for this year’s implementation of the programme.

The minister stated these at a press briefing to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day in Abuja at the weekend.

He, however, said given the prevailing economic situation in the country, the government might not have the required amount.

He then called for support from well-meaning private organisations and individuals to help raise the money.

About 63 per cent of the N1.89 trillion would be used to support chemoprevention, diagnosis and treatment, while about 36 per cent would be used for vector management, he claimed.

Quoting the 2020 World Malaria Report, Osagie said the country contributed 27 per cent of global malaria cases and 23 per cent of global deaths from the disease.

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Read also: Those unwilling to forgive Pantami are Nigeria’s problem – Garba Shehu

Osagie said the goal of the plan was to achieve a parasite prevalence of less than 10 per cent and reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2025.

He claimed further that despite Nigeria’s high contribution to global cases and deaths from the disease, indicators of interventions by the country showed a positive trend.

According to him, use of insecticide treated nets among under-five children increased from 43.4 per cent in 2015 to 52 per cent in 2018, while pregnant women increased use of the nets from 49 per cent in 2015 in to 58 per cent in 2018.

“Fever testing of under-five children increased from five percent in 2010 to 11 per cent in 2013, 13 per cent in 2015 and 14 per cent in 2018; but is still too low. These measures resulted in reduction of malaria prevalence from 42 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent in 2015 and 23 per cent in 2018…

“We shall continue to work hard to ensure less than 10 per cent parasite prevalence and reduce malaria mortality to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2025, the target set out the National Malaria Strategic Plan of 2021 to 2025,” he said.

While speaking on the roles of the public on malaria prevention, the minister called on people in the country to ensure they kept their environments clean at all times by consistently sleeping inside insecticide treated nets, visiting hospitals or health clinics when feverish for tests, and if positive for malaria, ensure they were treated with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT).

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The theme of this year’s commemoration is ‘Zero malaria – Draw the line Against Malaria” and the slogan: is “Stand Up – Take Action.’

The ICIR had, last week, reported how Nigeria missed out of pilot testing of malaria vaccine jabs administered in Kenya, Ghana, Malawi.

 

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