By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said the federal government is expecting favourable outcome from the ongoing pilot introduction of the world’s first antimalarial vaccine for partial protection of children against malaria.
The Minister, who said this on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja to mark the 2019 World Malaria Day, disclosed that a good outcome will catalyze government’s efforts at the elimination of the scourge.
He, however, noted that Nigeria still accounts for 25 per cent of the global malaria burden.
“We also account for 19% of deaths from malaria. Though funding for malaria control has remained relatively stable since 2010, we need to improve on the level of our investment to achieve a reduction of at least 40% in malaria case incidence and mortality rates globally by 2020,” he added.
The Minister reiterated government’s resolve in eliminating the disease, saying an expert group comprising of researchers in the field of malaria has been set up to provide guidance on country strategies for malaria elimination.
In a related development, some non-governmental organisations in Nigeria have joined their counterparts around the world to launch the Global Civil Society Network for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME).
Speaking during the launch in Abuja, Mr. Ayo Ipinmoye, the National Coordinator of Civil Society for Malaria, Immunization and Nutrition, ACOMIN, lamented the lack of community ownership in intervention towards the elimination of malaria.
Against that backdrop, he said: “CS4ME, as a global platform, will connect civil society organisations and malaria control communities on a single platform. With this development, the elimination of malaria targets can be achieved with the civil society as the catalyst.”