27 April 2016
The Nigerian Ministry of Health has revealed that the government spends an estimated sum of N480bn in prevention and treatment of malaria annually.
This was disclosed by the Director of Family Health department, Wapada Balami while representing the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, at the commemoration of the 2016 World Malaria Day held in Abuja.
Dr. Balami mentioned that the commitment of the current administration is to ensure that health coverage is given undivided attention amongst other things.
He mentioned, “in this era of change, we are committed to doing the needful to secure the health of Nigerians and set us on the path to prosperity. This is why we are pursuing the issue of Universal Health Coverage with renewed vigor. It is estimated that it costs Nigeria N480b in prevention and treatment of malaria every year.”
Dr. Balami expressed disbelief at the lackadaisical attitude of Nigerians to the use of the recommended and effective Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs).
“Between 2010 and 2013, the proportion of persons who slept inside LLINs the night before actually dropped from 23% (MIS 2010) to 13% (NDHS 2013), in spite of the 80% coverage attained through the mass campaign with over 70m LLINs.
“This is unfortunate because a majority of people have to use the nets for it to be optimally useful to the society. Indeed, if 80% of Nigerians use LLINs correctly and consistently, it is possible to break the transmission of malaria and set us on the path to the desired malaria free Nigeria,” he stated.
The 25th of April each year is dedicated to sensitizing people, assess the efforts of the government at trimming the scourge of malaria and mobilize efforts against the disease. The theme for the year is tagged “End Malaria for Good” while the slogan is “Yes! It is Achievable”.
So far, Malaria has been the relentless epidemic in Nigeria and most African countries. Annually, a high mortality rate is recorded and incomes are lost to the payment of health bills.