…says malaria treatment not affordable by indigent
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the 2019 World Malaria Day on April 25, 2019 with theme ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, a nongovernmental organization, Voice for Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO, advocates intensified awareness creation and citizens’ engagement in fight against malaria to reduce mother and child mortality rates across the country.
Speaking o the essence of the day, Founder of VOLPO, Dr Ego-Queen Ezuma, expressed concern over poor awareness of the damage malaria does to the body system that leads to other complications especially in pregnancy, child delivery process, and also death of children mostly under 0-5 years.
Ezuma also stated that the government, development partners and nongovernmental organisations should synergise properly to carry this awareness of malaria disease on its causes, prevention and implications to people at the urban and rural settlements as it would be of great impact.
According to reports half of the global population still threatened by the disease and kills one child every two minutes and 219 million people affected, which the African continent accounts for over 90 per cent of this burden and seven West and Central African countries are among the most affected and at least $14 billion required to end this pandemic by 2030.
She said: “It is now a wake-up call to all of us who are stakeholders to frontally attack or tackle this menace called malaria in our country following the devastating effects it has on the populace.
“The of the World Malaria Day 2019 ‘The theme for World Malaria Day 2019 – ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ is laudable as being explained that it will empower individuals across the world to make a personal commitment to saving millions more lives, and help communities and economies to thrive by ending malaria.
“But this could only be actualized when there is strong synergy and partnership between government, development partners and nongovernmental organizations for effective empowerment of the people with what they basically need to know and how to apply the knowledge acquired at their communities and also materials that would help them reduce the malaria upsurge.”
She also pointed out that the affordability of malaria treatment is way high and beyond the reach of indigent people mostly at the grassroots who find it difficult to feed themselves and family.
Therefore she appealed to government at all levels and development partners to consider the high cost of malaria drugs and treatment, “We in Voice of Less Privileged Organisation, VOLPO, has been doing our free malaria treatment over the years including awareness creation and the result has been enormous because we speak in the language the people understand and appear like them as we show concern for their health.
“We are appealing to the government at all levels and development partners to look into the high cost of malaria drugs and treatment for it to subsidized in order for the indigent to have access to the treatment and with this the high malaria burden could be reduced drastically.
“We appreciate the effort of government and donors for the great job they are doing to tackle the disease including distribution of insecticide treated nets to the people, but more can still be done”, she added.