Reps urge better deal to contain malaria, WHO averts 11m deaths over two decades

As the 2023 World Malaria Day held yesterday, House of Representatives urged Federal Government to focus more on domestic financing and local production of drugs to contain the disease.

It observed that lack of domestic financing and production and patronage of Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and anti-malarial drugs was a major problem.

House spokesperson, Benjamin Okezie Kalu, in a statement, regretted that the ailment remains a significant public health challenge, with an estimated 97 million cases and 300,000 deaths yearly.

Acknowledging though that progress has been made in reducing burden of the sickness, much work still needed to be done to eliminate it.

Kalu said key areas of challenge have been issues of donor dependence for malaria intervention in the country.

Meanwhile, World Health Organisation (WHO) has certified that over 1.6 billion cases, 11 million deaths were averted in African Region from 2000 to 2021.

This is even as no less than 28 nations, including Nigeria, have expressed interest in introducing first malaria vaccine recommended by the global agency to eliminate the ailment in children beginning from early next year.

WHO, therefore governments to mobilise more resources and technical capacities at domestic and international levels, as well as build effective partnerships and put in place multi-sectoral mechanisms to strengthen preventive measures and improve coverage.

Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, lamented that the zone, in 2021 alone, accounted for an estimated 234 million malaria cases and 593 fatalities, thus bearing the heaviest burden of over 95 per cent of cases and 96 per cent of deaths globally.

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