The federal government has committed the sum of N198bn in fighting malaria in the past ten years .
The minister of Health,Professor Isaac Adewole ,made the disclosure at the commemoration of the World malaria day in Abuja .
The minister said that malaria still remains a major Public Health problem in Nigeria ,and constitutes a major barrier to social and economic development.
“We are encouraging Nigerians to contribute resources to the fight against malaria in Nigeria. It is only then that the desired impact can be guaranteed. This fact is underscored in the slogan of the World Malaria day , “Together We Can”.
“The government is working hard to improve the quality of care and increase access to anti-malaria commodities particularly amongst the poor. We are also working towards securing additional funding to close the existing commodity gap and move Nigeria towards elimination of malaria ”
According to the minister , patients should endeavor to carry out testing before treating malaria ,and also maintain the use of ACTs for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria as articulated in malaria policy .
Professor Adewole further explained that Nigeria recently developed and printed the National Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) Plan to provide guidance and ensure effective monitoring, management of vector resistance and monitoring of quality vector control interventions.
“The surveillance activities are currently going on in six sites across the country, one in each geo-political zone. We are on the verge of establishing another 3 sentinel sites in Kano, Niger and Osun States to increase in coverage in terms of insecticide resistance monitoring and vector management ”
While speaking on the use of Long lasting insecticidal nets ,the minister said “most Nigerians do not use the Long lasting insecticides treated nets . In 2017 about 16,199,953 Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) were distributed in seven states comprising of ,Sokoto, Edo, Kwara, Osun, Imo, Ondo and Adamawa”
“We plan to distribute about 18.4million nets in six States this year,the states include ;Nassarawa, Ogun, Jigawa, Katsina, Gombe and Kebbi States. Nets are also being distributed through antenatal clinics for pregnant women and routine immunization of children.
The country representative of WHO ,Dr Wondi Alemu who was represented by Mrs Linda Uzor reteirates the need for strong coordination and determined efforts from all Nigerians and stakeholders towards eliminating malaria in Nigeria .
He also advised the citizens to be wary of emerging insecticides that have adverse effects on the health of individuals .
“We are calling for more interventions towards beating malaria ,as Nigeria still represent 30% of the case burden in African region .We need to put in more effort to achieve a malaria free country ”
The Director of public health,Dr Evelyn Ngige called on all Nigerians to put in preventive measures towards combating malaria .
According to her ,69% of malaria death around the world in 2015 ,was in children under five years of age .
“As a preventive measure ,it is recommended that children under age five sleep under long lasting insecticidal treated nets to prevent them from mosquito bites .
The celebration of the World Malaria Day dates back to the historic gathering of African Heads of State in 2000. The first African Summit on Malaria instituted the Roll Back Malaria Initiative and set aside the 25th of April for the commemoration of the World Malaria Day.