- FG targets 2020 for complete eradication
Nigeria alone accounts for over 40 per cent of the estimated total malaria deaths globally, a situation that is not only alarming but must be tackled for any meaningful development to occur, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said.
A similar concern was also expressed in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where the Commissioner for Health, Dr Theophilus Odagme stated that Nigeria accounts for 32 per cent of global annual malaria-related deaths.
Speaking in Sokoto yesterday during events to mark this year’s World Malaria Day, Tambuwal said his administration was aware of the negative consequences of malaria and other neglected tropical diseases on both human and economic growth of the country.
To this end, he said the government would continue to provide free medical care to pregnant mothers and children under the age of five who were vulnerable to malaria and other tropical diseases.
According to him, similar passion will be embarked upon so as to provide care to people living in remote areas of the state.
He said drugs worth billions of naira had been distributed to all parts of the state while so far, government has received donations from the federal government and development partners to tackle the issues.
“The fight against these diseases requires collective efforts. Drugs worth billions of Naira from the inception of the programs were provided through the joint efforts of Federal Ministry of Health, partners and state government. Recently, the state government received a donation of Trachoma drugs worth N3.1 billion which will be distributed in 12 LGAs of Isa, Sabon Birni, Goronyo, Rabah, Bodinga, Binji, Tangaza, Kware, Silame, Wamakko, Illela and Gada,” Tambuwal added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said the federal government was working towards ensuring that no Nigerian would die from malaria or malaria-related illness from the year 2020.
He added that the government would also strive to ensure that malaria was completely exterminated from the country from the year 2025, ahead of the global target of the year 2030.
Rivers worried by deaths
In the case of Rivers State, Health Commissioner Theophilus Odagme stated this in a state broadcast to mark this year’s World Malaria Day in the state.
Odagme, who informed that malaria was still a major public health problem, said about 200,600 malaria related deaths occur each year in Nigeria.
He stated that it was against this backdrop that the present administration, through its commitment to combat the menace and eradicate malaria, had in the past one year distributed mosquito nets free of charge to residents of the state.
“Malaria is still a major public health problem. Nigeria accounted for 32 percent of the global annual estimate of 627,000 malaria deaths (WMR 2014). This is about 200,640 deaths.
“The 2016 World Malaria Day, WMD, themed is ‘End Malaria for Good’ and the slogan is ‘Yes, it’s Achievable.’ This invariably reiterates the commitment of the government to ensure that malaria comes to an end.
“May I again use today to remind the entire good people of Rivers State of the National Malaria Policy which states that ‘The federal, state, local government and private health sector of Nigeria hereby commit themselves and all the people to intensive action to attain the goal of malaria free Nigeria; that is, a country where malaria is no longer a public health problem and malaria related deaths is less than 1:100,000 population.
“As part of our responses in achieving these targets in this free malaria Rivers State, we have over the past one year distributed anti-malarial commodities such as Artemisinin Combination Therapy, ACTs, and LLINs through our third party logistics, The Riders for Health,” he said.
Every April 25 is set aside as World Malaria Day to highlight the gravity of malaria situation in the continent of Africa since 2009.
Kano State records 22,000 deaths in 2015
Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr Kabiru Getso said on Monday that the state recorded about 22,000 deaths in 2015 due to malaria attacks.
The commissioner spoke in Kano at a news conference to mark the World Malaria Day.
Getso said that the number in the state was high because of environmental challenges, adding that it remained the major health concern of the state.
“The present administration recently purchased N59 million worth of items to curb malaria in the state and these include malaria test machines, drugs as well as mosquito nets.”
Getso also said that the state had embarked on special training for health workers from the 44 local government areas on malaria management.