By Haruna Gimba
The Nigeria’s Minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole said the country spends the sum of N480 billion for the prevention and treatment of malaria every year.
The minister made this known during the commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day in Abuja. He said it is disheartening that most of this amount comes from individual pockets of already impoverished Nigerians and the government is determined to do all it can to address the situation.
He said: “The present government will increase Malaria funding through her agencies, the ministry, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) through an invigorated 10,000 Primary Health Care Centres (PHC) Initiative.” Represented by the Director of Family Planning in the ministry, Dr. Wapada Balami, he said malaria has remained the greatest public health enemy in Nigeria, saying every year many Nigerians die needlessly of the disease and many households lose income because they are too ill from malaria to go to work.
He said the greatest challenge of the government is that the people refuse to play their part, stressing that many do not take the available interventions in reducing the disease serious.
Meanwhile, in a statement to mark this year’s World Malaria Day, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharmacist Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai said individuals must take personal responsibility to end malaria in their various homes through proper hygiene, the use of insecticide-treated mosquito net, early diagnosis and proper treatment of malaria.
He said to end malaria for good in sub-Saharan Africa in general, and in Nigeria in particular, all hands must be on deck and all stakeholders must work round the clock to achieve this.
On the part of government, he said the governments across sub-Saharan Africa must increase funding to end malaria, non-government organizations must promote the use of insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITNs), and Pharmaceutical companies must continue to manufacture quality anti-malarial medicines at affordable prices.