News

February 23, 2024

FG calls for strategy overhaul to combat malaria scourge

FG calls for strategy overhaul to combat malaria scourge

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, has called for a review of the country’s strategies to combat the malaria burden.

He said this when partners from the Malaria Alliance, RBM Malaria Partnership, and Nigerian officials of WHO Global Malaria Programme visited him on Friday in Abuja.

He said the country had not made significant progress despite decades of efforts to reduce the malaria scourge.

Pate said Nigeria bore 30 per cent of the global malaria burden, with 68 million cases and 194,000 deaths annually, prompting a call for urgent intervention strategies.

“Nigeria is still struggling with a high burden of malaria, despite implementing programmes to eliminate the disease for over 70 years.

“As at 2021, the country accounted for 30 per cent of the global burden, with an estimated 68 million cases and 194,000 deaths annually,” he lamented.

The minister advocated a comprehensive review of existing approaches to combating the public health crisis.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu supports initiatives to retrain health workers and enhance primary health centres as part of the Health Sector Renewal Investment Programme.

“Strong collaboration with partners like the Malaria Alliance, RBM Partnership, and WHO Global Malaria Programme is crucial for success,” he said.

With the necessary political will, human resources, and partnerships in place, the minister said he was confident in the country’s ability to turn the tide against malaria and save millions of lives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that malaria is primarily transmitted through contact with infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

These mosquitoes typically bite between dusk and dawn. Once infected, the mosquitoes can transmit the malaria parasite (Plasmodium) to humans through their bites.

According to WHO, prevention strategies for malaria include: sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets, applying insect repellents and spraying insecticides indoors, and taking antimalarial drugs before, during, and after travel to malaria-endemic areas.

The strategies also include eliminating mosquito breeding sites, such as stagnant water; engaging communities in malaria prevention efforts; and early diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases to prevent further transmission and severe complications. (NAN)