From Uche Uche, Damaturu.
The organization working on the prevention, treatment and mitigation of the impact of malaria and the promotion of immunization and better nutrition in Nigeria, ACOMIN, an NGO, has urged the federal, state and local governments to improve on their respective level of funding towards the eradication of malaria so as to achieve the set objective.
Chairman of the organization, Muktar Mohammed Shehu, made the appeal yesterday during a press briefing with journalists and supporting civil society organizations, which took place at the conference hall of the state primary healthcare board in Damaturu, the state capital.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the countries with high incidence of malaria which affects 97% of its population of which, the under five children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.
“If the fight against malaria would succeed, significant funding needs to be dedicated towards the effort…in order to reduce the impact on the people and the economy of Nigeria,” he stated.
He regretted that although state, local and federal governments has pledged increase allocation and spending on malaria, there are still funding gaps on malaria and health and therefore to close this gap, there should be increased funding of malaria at all levels of government.
Here in Yobe state, report from some civil society organization personnel working with ACOMIN in some local government areas reports the existence of limited numbers of medical personnel in some of the health centers with influx of patients needing attention in addition to insufficient drugs in some occasions.
These influx, they said, is as a result of patients coming from outside the state such as from Borno, Gombe and even from the neighbouring country of Niger Republic to access medical treatment in the state.
He therefore urged the state government, though commendable for its efforts in providing healthcare services to its teeming populace, to find a way to improve on these noted gaps, pointing out that malaria is treatable, preventable and curable and thus, with concerted efforts, no child, pregnant women and adults should be allowed to die of malaria ever again.
During the occasion, participants made suggesting toward fighting malaria that includes the use of chemical spray, engaging the communities to seriously take part regularly on cleaning the environment, from evacuating the drainages to general sanitation activities such as the monthly sanitation exercise.