A recent report by the Malaria Futures for Africa (MalaFa) says Nigeria may not be able to meet the 2030 target by Africa to eliminate malaria.
This is contained in a statement issued in commemoration of the world malaria day, marked every April 25. The 2018 edition is themed ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’.
According to the 2017 world malaria report, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015.
The number of malaria deaths was 445,000 in 2016, 438,000 in 2015. Ninety percent of malaria cases and over 90 percent of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under 5 are particularly at risk, and malaria takes the life of a child every two minutes.
The MalaFa report said malaria remains a major public health concern in Nigeria with about 76% of the population at risk.
“Nigeria could eliminate malaria if there was political will. However, with the current way Nigeria is handling malaria, it is unlikely the country will be able to achieve malaria elimination by 2030,” the statement read.
“There are great plans, policies and documents… but very little on the path of the government to make things work.’
“Nigerians travel a lot with many traveling to Asia on business. This increases the prospects for importation of ACT-resistant parasite strains into the country.”
The statement said that over the next five years, Novartis, a pharmaceutical company, will invest more than $100 million to advance research and development of next-generation treatments to combat emerging resistance to artemisinin and other currently used antimalarials.