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WORLD MALARIA DAY: Nigeria loses N132bn to Malaria annually — LAPO

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Ambode’s wife distributes 3,000 mosquito treated nets

As LCCI seeks FG’s commitment to health financing

By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Chioma Obinna & Naomi Uzor

LAGOS—THE Lift Above Poverty Organisation, LAPO, yesterday, disclosed that Nigeria loses N132 billion annually to Malaria.

This was as  Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mr.s Bolanle Ambode has urged Lagosians to be more concerned with preventing rather than curing malaria infection even as she distributed 3, 000 mosquito treated nets.

Also, the  Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, yesterday urged the Federal Government to adopt and implement strategies toward creating a conducive investment climate for more private sector participation in health financing.

The Executive Director of LAPO, Ms. Sabina Idowu-Osehobo,  said this yesterday, at the 2018 World Malaria Day sensitization programme tagged: ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’, held in Meiran Community, Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.

Idowu-Osehobo, represented by the LAPO Lagos Regional Officer, Mrs. Sandra Asowata, noted that Malaria constitutes a huge epidemiologic burden in Africa and continues to cripple the economic development in the region.

Idowu-Osehobo said: “Malaria is responsible for 60 percent outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 percent  childhood death, 25 percent of death in children under one year and 11 percent maternal death in Nigeria. Malaria is a major cause of increasing household poverty and slow phase of national development.

“The financial loss due to malaria annually is estimated to be about N132 billion   in form of treatment costs, prevention and loss of man-hours, yet, the disease is  a treatable  and completely eradicable.”

“We believe that with collective efforts of everyone- international partners, government at all levels, business sectors, NGOs, community stakeholders and direct beneficiaries, we are ready to beat Malaria.

Mrs Ambode distributes 3,000 mosquito nets

Meanwhile, Mrs. Ambode, who distributed over 3,000 insecticide-treated nets, at Makoko community, Yaba Local Council Development Authority, LCDA, said that efforts should be geared towards a robust prevention of the scourge, with the  wide-spread  use of nets, indoor spraying with insecticide and preventive treatment of expectant mothers.

She said: “We cannot fold our arms and allow malaria to continue to ravage our society. This epidemic has claimed too many lives, whether in our country, Africa or the world in general. Thank God it is not a disease without prevention or cure, and since it has both, the easier way out is to prevent it.”

LCCI seeks FG’s commitment to health financing

Similarly, the LCCI President, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, in an appeal at a forum on the celebration of World Malaria Day in Lagos, said: “We need innovative ways and means in enhancing our capabilities in ‘beating malaria.”

Ruwase, who was  represented by his deputy, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, said: “With $2.7 billion invested globally to fight malaria in 2016, this represents less than 41 percent of the estimated $6.5 billion needed annually till 2020in order to reach the 2030 global malaria targets. In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, five million more than the 211 million cases reported in 2015.”

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