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Nigeria urged to deploy new tools to control malaria

Malaria Consortium, an international non-governmental organisation, has advised Nigeria and other countries to ensure optimal deployment of new tools for malaria control. The new chief…

Malaria Consortium, an international non-governmental organisation, has advised Nigeria and other countries to ensure optimal deployment of new tools for malaria control.

The new chief executive officer of the organisation, Dr James Tibenderana, gave the advice on Friday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on his visit to Nigeria ahead of the 20 years anniversary of the organisation.

He said mosquitos or the parasites did not remain the same, but responded to what was going on in their environment, adding that the global community had learnt the need to adapt to the changes.

He said, “So we must have the next generation of new drugs, we must have the next generation of insecticide, the next generation of nets, the next generation of vaccines. We need to add these to the pipeline sufficiently so that as the mosquito or parasites are changing, we have new tools to deploy.”

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He said 97 per cent of the population is at risk of malaria in Nigeria and that every single state in the country was also at risk of the disease.

Tibenderana said that Nigeria had made huge progress, adding there was a gap that still needed to be filled because of access and use of proven interventions.

He said, “It is important to appreciate that the next interventions that are being deployed such as insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying, testing with rapid diagnostic tests etc. So we are getting the right treatment. We are not achieving optimal coverage of these tools.”

He said Nigeria carried one of the largest burden of malaria globally noting that if malaria was not eliminated in Nigeria, the vision of a malaria free world wouldn’t be achieved.

He added that the charity was committed to working very closely with the Nigerian government to fit within the strategic vision and direction the government set.

West and Central Africa Regional Director, Malaria Consortium, Dr Kolawole Maxwell , said the organisation had secured funds worth $200 million for ongoing projects between 2020 and 2026.

He said the charity began to work in Nigeria in 2008, and had mobilized $470 million in supporting malaria in the country. He said out of the amount, $250m had been spent on training, procurement of commodities and seasonal malaria chemo-prevention among others.

According to him, the organisation currently works in 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and covers close to 20 million Nigerians.

He said, “We go house to house to ensure children are treated and prevented from having malaria and dying from it. So indeed, this is 20 years of celebration of good and effective partnership, and prevention of children from dying.”

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