Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has said that vaccine and consolidated efforts by development partners will stop malaria scourge in Nigeria in due course.
Making this public at the commemoration of World Malaria Day (WMD) in Abuja on Thursday, Adewole remarked that the success of the vaccine would catalyze global efforts at eliminating malaria, noting that Nigeria was responsible for 25 per cent of the global malaria burden and 19 per cent of global deaths from malaria.
According to him, the federal government is fully committed to malaria elimination and has developed innovative programmes that will increase access to funds for malaria programme implementation in the country. As he revealed, some of the innovative programmes the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, the Save One Million Lives Project.
Adewole also noted that this year’s WMD celebration provides opportunity to review Federal Government strategies and speed up the tempo with a view to reducing significantly the burden of malaria in the country by 2020.
Adewole also revealed that the Federal Government is in the process of setting up an expert group comprising of researchers in the field of malaria to provide strategic guidance for malaria elimination in the country. As he explained, the process of Malaria Programme Review (MPR), a holistic review of malaria programme implementation in the country, is on-going and the outcome would inform appropriate changes in strategies and interventions.
Saying that the Federal Government is still soliciting for additional funding support for the malaria programme, the Minister held that while awaiting success of the trial vaccine, more commitments were being made by the country with the help of its development partners to eliminate the scourge.
Mr. Hendrik Labuschagne, a Director of PCMN, manufacturers of Mozzi range of anti-malaria products, one of the key development partners to the Federal Government on eradication of malaria, lauds all efforts by the Federal Government at eradicating malaria in the country.
Answering questions from journalists at the event, Labuschagne said he’s not surprised at the commendable programmes of the Federal Government since the momentum for WMD began in Abuja around year 2000. According to him, the sustained efforts of the Federal Government at eradicating malaria in the country could be better appreciated against the background of the fact that one Nigerian dies of malaria-related disease every two minutes and the statistic given here today by the Minister is close to 500,000 people die of the same cause.