he Niger State government has been urged to increase funding for malaria interventions if it must attain improved service delivery across all Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs).
While lamenting that carrying out malaria interventions amidst COVID-19 pandemic presented several challenges, State Coordinator, Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN), Olasunkanmi Kalejaiye, said it had had effect on accessing malaria services, adding also that; “The people are afraid of being suspected of having COVID-19 if they presented symptoms of malaria.”
He spoke while briefing journalists at the weekend that inadequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for health workers, particularly at PHCs had left them exposed and as such they may not be able to provide optimal service as required.
According to him, “We are calling on government at all levels to increase funding for malaria interventions; improve and upgrade health facilities across the state, purchase and distribute adequate medical equipment to health facilities.
“Government should provide sufficient beddings and mattresses. Our challenges are non-allocation of resources and specific budgets for malaria interventions, inadequate human resources; dilapidating and abandonment of health facilities, among others.
He also said low health seeking behaviour on the part of the community members was worrisome, as such some people still do not believe that coronavirus exists and so, they disregard COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Kalejaiye called on the people to abide by the guidelines put in place to further reduce community infection by using face mask and practicing social distancing.