‘Nigeria Contributes 23 Per Cent Global Malaria Burden’
HEALTH Minister, Prof. Christian Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that Nigeria is one of the countries worst hit by Malaria in the world, contributing almost a quarter of the Global Malaria burden.
Chukwu spoke just as ExxonMobil announced its donation of $10 million to the “Roll Back Malaria Programme” to the scourge in the country.
The minister spoke in Lagos on Monday at a dinner organised for the media.
He said Nigeria contributed 23 Per Cent of Global Malaria burden, a situation that has made it one of the leading five countries with the highest Malaria burden in the world. The other four countries are Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya.
According to the National Malaria Control Programme, Malaria is responsible for 60 Per Cent outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 Per Cent childhood deaths, 25 Per Cent of deaths in children under one year and 11 Per Cent maternal deaths in Nigeria.
The country, the programme reported, loses about N132 billion to Malaria in the form of treatment costs, prevention and loss of man-hour yearly.
The minister, who was represented by Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele, assured that the country was not relenting in fighting the Malaria scourge.
He listed massive nationwide distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN), improved use of indoor residual spray (IRS), distribution of anti-malaria drugs, among others, as steps taken by government to overcome the menace of Malaria in the country.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to key into the fight against Malaria by sleeping under LLIN, using Artemisine-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) instead of monotherapies and having intermittent preventive treatment of Malaria in pregnancy with sulphadoxine pyrimethamine after 16 week of pregnancy.
ExxonMobil representative, Dr. Ahmed Aliu, said the company decided to key into the fight against Malaria with its support for the “Roll Back Malaria Programme” because “we have seen the impact of Malaria on families, children, pregnant women and national economy”.
He said over the past 10 years, the company has committed more than $100 million to programmes reaching almost 66 million people, thereby helping to reduce Malaria mortality by 33 Per Cent in Africa.
Aliu added that the company was hopeful that the battle against Malaria would be won with equal commitments from all.
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