Nigeria remains a red zone for malaria - Researcher cries out to FG

Nigeria remains a red zone for malaria - Researcher cries out to FG

- Nigerian government at every level has been urged to financially support the battle against malaria

- This clarion call came from Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, the head of immunology and vaccinology research at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR)

- Iwalokun revealed that the disease is capable of hindering investments and job creation in the country if nothing drastic is done about it

A medical researcher, Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, on Sunday, April 22, advised government at all levels to improve funding toward the elimination of malaria in the Nigeria.

Iwalokun, head of immunology and vaccinology Research, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He gave the advice ahead of the commemoration of the World Malaria Day which will be held on April 25 every year. NAN reports that the theme for the 2018 edition is entitled Ready to Beat Malaria.

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According to reports, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is focusing attention on prevention mechanism, a critical strategy for reducing the toll of a disease that continues to kill more than 400,000 people annually.

According to the researcher, government needs to re-strategise to improve funding mechanism toward malaria elimination, especially now that the country is coming out of recession.

Iwalokun said: “Nigeria remains a red zone for malaria and may hinder the needed investment for wealth creation in the country.

“A certain percentage should be earmarked for malaria programmes and research in addition to other sources in order to boost funding for malaria. Funding of malaria elimination will also improve the detection of asymptomatic parasite reservoirs that cause malaria among Nigerians.”

“The WHO said that global use of long-lasting insecticide treated nets has increased from 15 to 50 per cent in 2015.

“This progress also contributed 20 per cent to the overall improvement, attained by Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2015.

“Nigeria is one of the malaria endemic countries reported by WHO to have inconsistent data to predict malaria trend and impact of malaria interventions in the country. We urgently need to address this gap for us to have some correlations between exposure risk reduction and mortality risk.

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“Re-strategise for malaria strategic plan 2016-2030 by integrating surveys that will enable monitoring of malaria related deaths in the country is very important. Such surveys include the hospital survey of malaria cases and deaths; the national clinical audit for malaria case management, and outcome in private and public sectors.’’

Iwalokun called on all malaria-elimination stakeholders to work together to get their respective contributions to malaria prevention, treatment and elimination in the country.

Meanwhile, reported that an insecticide, known as Ivermectin, that makes human blood poisonous to diseases carrying mosquitoes could soon hit the market if the new finding was anything to go by.

Lead researchers in Kenya established high doses of the pill could make human blood deadly for mosquitoes. This in turn would reduce chances of catching mosquito related diseases.

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