World Malaria Day: ‘We have 29 per cent of global burden’
The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye yesterday disclosed that Nigeria accounts for 29 per cent of the malaria burden.
He added that Africa still bears over 80 per cent of the global malaria burden.
Ipaye made the disclosure at a press conference in Abeokuta, while speaking on the theme “End Malaria Now: What is Your Role?”
The commissioner said the state was organising a walk in conjunction with Total, Reckitt Benkiser (producers of Mortien Insecticide) and Development West Africa to sensitise the people to the prevention
The Commissioner explained that Nigeria is responsible for approximately “60 percent of out-patient visits and 30 per cent of hospital admission,” saying malaria contributed 11 per cent to maternal mortality, 25 percent to infant mortality and 30 per cent of “under five” mortality.
He said: “Malaria creates additional burden on the already weakened health system and accounts for about N480 billion in out-of-pocket expenses for treatment, prevention and man-hours losses.”
He said the disease also exerts a severe social and economic burden on the nation, while retarding the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by about 40 percent annually.
Ipaye said the goal of eliminating malaria is achievable, but requiresa technical focus and sustained funding by the government, the private sectors and household resources.
He disclosed that the state was working with local and foreign partners to ensure that proven interventions were deployed towards malaria elimination by its distribution of free long lasting insecticidal nets.
The commissioner added that the state was also committed to distributing thousands of doses of Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) for the prevention of malaria among pregnant women.
Others in focus are free testing and treatment with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) in all the primary health facilities in the state.