Health

Malaria kills Nigerians more than COVID-19, ACOMIN tells FG

Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has charged the Federal Government to tackle malaria with the same seriousness with which it handled COVID-19 pandemic. ACOMIN, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working on the prevention, treatment and mitigation of malaria in Nigeria, berated the government for neglecting the fight against malaria. Addressing reporters yesterday, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Coordinator of ACOMIN, Mrs Ibironke Olatunji, argued that if the Federal Government had handled malaria the same way it handled COVID-19, Nigeria would have now been free from malaria which is still ravaging the country.

Olatunji, who called for more budgetary allocation for malaria programmes, also urged the government to make funds available for the fight against malaria. According to her, malaria has killed and is still killing more Nigerians than COVID-19, hence, government at all levels must desist from paying lip service to the prevention of malaria.

She said, “Malaria is killing a lot people in Nigeria. People, especially infants and pregnant women are dying everyday from malaria. “The way the government tackled COVID- 19, we also want such speed to come into tackling malaria issues.

“It is regrettable that little or no fund is coming from government to manage malaria issues, especially at the local level,” Olatunji said. She appealed to the Ogun State government to resuscitate the free distribution of Intermittent Prevention Malaria tablets to pregnant women which, according to her, was stopped in 2018. “For pregnant women we have Intermittent Prevention Malaria tablets. These drugs are given to pregnant women for free at 2018. But as from 2018, the State Government was supposed to purchase the drugs and distribute them to pregnant women but unfortunately, lack of funds has hampered this.

The government is no longer buying the drugs. “We are still imploring the government to provide funds for this, because if we are able to prevent malaria in pregnant women, we will be able to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate in the state.

“We are still appealing to the government to do something able this. If the government is no longer ready to purchase the drugs, let them come up with a policy for the local governments to purchase the drugs and sell at a reasonable price,” Olatunji added. The State Secretary of ACOMIN, Tayo Akinpelu, disclosed that the organisation has rehabilitated as well as provided drugs and other medical equipment for several primary healthcare centres in the state.

 

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