Monday, 24 April 2017

Nigeria seeks U.S support in eliminating malaria by 2020

Nigeria has seek the support of the United States (US) in the efforts to eliminate malaria by 2020.

USAID/Presidential Malaria Initiative has made substantial investment of about $490 million covering 11 States and the National Malaria Programme.

Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole made the appeal Monday in Abuja at the 2017 World Malaria Day celebration organised by the U.S. Embassy.

The minister, who admitted that the country was still far from its dream of elevating malaria, however asserted that Federal Government was determined to achieve the feat by 2020.

He said, “A look at the some indices shows that we are still far from our 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.

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

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.

“We are working together with the Governor 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

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 minister also commended US Agency for International Development (USAID) for its support which he said included financial, logistics, technical input also by provision of net, indoor residual spray and other Anti Malaria commodities.

The Deputy Head of Mission U.S. Embassy, David Young in his remark called warned against the use of chloroquine in treating malaria because it does not cure the disease. He also urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of sleeping in a treated bed net every night to end malaria for good.

According to him, “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.”

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