The Federal Government has said that the annual economic outcome of the country’s malaria scourge would increase from the present N687 billion to N2 trillion by 2030.
The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Health, Hon. Joseph Ekumankama made this known during the inauguration of the Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC), today (August 16, 2022) in Abuja.
Science Nigeria reports that the 2021 World Malaria Report (WMR 2021) indicated that Nigeria contributes 27 per cent of the global malaria cases and 32 per cent of global malaria deaths.
The country witnessed a total of 57 million clinical cases per year and annual deaths of about 100,000. It is also estimated that about 60 per cent of all out-patients and 30 per cent of all hospital admissions across the country are due to malaria.
According to Ekumankama, in the first year the country implemented the National Malaria Strategic Plan of 2021 to 2025, she had an estimated deficit of over N150billion and in 2022, the deficit of over N170billion.
He called malaria the “biggest challenge confronting the country” which prevents the elimination of malaria to ensure a malaria-free nation in the shortest possible time is inadequate finances to fund the National Malaria Strategic Plan.
“Considering this, there is a need for efficient mobilisation of domestic resources and the galvanization of the private sector support for malaria elimination.
“To this end, Mr President’s approval for the FMoH to initiate the establishment of the NEMC is both timely and a step in the right direction,” he said.
The minister stated that the important council, once inaugurated, would be expected to, among other things, drive resource mobilisation to meet the gaps for this campaign, as well as sustain advocacies and inter-sectoral collaborations including innovative financing and implementation that would further move the country towards malaria elimination.
According to him, the NEMC is made up of top government officials, the organised private sector, captains of industries and religious and non-governmental organisations, who have distinguished themselves in their various fields, with the commitment from the ministry to work together to achieve their terms of reference.
Science Nigeria recalled that, according to the 2010 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey (NMIS 2010), there has been a continuous decline in malaria from 42 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent in 2015.
In the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2018), there was a further decline in malaria cases from 27 per cent to 23 per cent. This decline is believed to have resulted from a thorough programme implementation of the National Malaria Strategic Plan.
The country is currently implementing the National Malaria Strategic Plan of 2021 to 2025, with the intent to achieve a parasite prevalence of less than 10 per cent and reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 live births by the year 2025.
It will take about N1.89Trillion to implement this five-year plan.