The Chairman house of Representatives committee on HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Mr Amobi Godwin, says Nigeria is a country in need of protection from malaria.
Briefing the house press corps at the National Assembly, Mr Godwin stated that the death toll from the disease in the country makes up nearly a third of the world’s 619,000 malaria deaths a year.
He said the committee is not unmindful of the challenges being faced by Nigerians in the fight against these ailments especially in the fight against the control of Malaria in the country which appear to defile solutions.
He said ” According to the World Health Organization, Four African countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths worldwide: Nigeria top this list with 31.3%, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 12.6%, Tanzania (4.1%) and Niger (3.9%)
“The immediate past Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire was quoted during the 2023 world malaria day that an estimated 55 million cases of malaria with nearly 90,000 malaria deaths occur every year in Nigeria. He was also quoted to have said that the economic burden of malaria in Nigeria is estimated at $1.6b (N687bn) in 2022 and may increase to about $2.8bn (N2tn) in 2030. These statistics are scaring and there is the need for urgent attention. That is why the committee will partner with USAID, WHO, UNAID, Bill and Melinda gate Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Global Fund for Malaria control, Society for Family Health among other stakeholders in ensuring that malaria is eradicated in the country or reduced to the barest minimum.
To this end he said, the committee would ensure adequate implementation of legislations geared towards the eradication of malaria in the country.
The Lawmaker assured that where such legislations are not adequate, the comm will work to provide the needed amendment to such existing legislations for the general good of the Nigerian people.
Mr Godwin observed that while Nigeria continues to fight the spread of HIV, AIDS, the committee is worried with the level of awareness on the prevailing spread of the disease hence the need to work towards carrying out oversight functions on MDAs under the purview of the Ministry of Health saddled with this responsibility as well as international partners with a view to finding a lasting solution.
In the area of tuberculosis, the committee chairman stated that though Nigeria recorded a gain in its fight against TB in 2020, the country still ranks sixth among 30 TB High Burden countries in the world and has the highest burden in Africa.
As such he said, the committee, will carry out a conscious campaign within its legislative function to ensure that all TB Centers in the country are well funded to carry out their mandate.