FG Spends N480bn On Malaria Annually

FG Spends N480bn On Malaria Annually

The Federal Government said on Thursday that it was spending N480bn annually on the management and treatment of malaria in the country.

President Goodluck Jonathan said this in Port Harcourt at the Economic Community of West African Statesand Rivers State Town Hall meeting on Malaria Elimination and Ground Breaking ceremony of Biolarvicides (insecticides) factory.

Represented by the Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, the president said a child died of malaria every 45 seconds in Africa.

He noted that malaria occurred and killed more people in poor rural communities of the country, saying that poverty and sickness were related.

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, expressed his administration’s determination to eradicate malaria in the state.

He promised that the state would collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health, ECOWAS and foreign organisations to eliminate the disease.

He explained that his administration would get rid of malaria before 2015 by reducing the scourge to a manageable level.

Amaechi said, “We must invest in biolarvicides; we must go with the Federal Ministry of Health, the ECOWAS Commission and the Cubans to invest in the biolarvicides.

“We must also invest in indoor spraying. Since we have the target of 2015, we must ensure that by the end of next year, we will either eradicate malaria or reduce it to its barest.

“We have achieved two things in the construction of the biolarvicide factory; first it is commercial. So, we get back our money. We will get the other states to buy from us. We need ECOWAS to bring their part of the money.

“This is serious for me, so you have me on board. I’ve already spoken with the Minister of Health, to talk with the National Coordinator of Malaria Control Programme. I want to see the cost.”

President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Kadre Quedraogo, pledged the commission’s commitment to eradicating malaria in the ECOWAS region.

Explaining that ECOWAS exists to unite the peoples of West Africa and ensure peace and eradication of poverty, Quedraogo noted that such objectives would not be achieved with the presence of malaria scourge in West African.

He said, “How can we achieve these objectives if we do not overcome serious scourges like malaria, which is a very great challenge for our member states?”

“I just want to assure you of the commitment of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to eradicate malaria in the ECOWAS region. They are regularly informed of the progress we are making on this effort.

“Let me express my sincere gratitude to the governor not only for his warm hospitality, but also for his support for this priority programme of ECOWAS member states.”

Also, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, expressed the need for joint efforts and environmental cleanliness to tackle malaria.

State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, described malaria as a serious public health challenge, promising that Rivers will partner with various stakeholders to eliminate malaria.

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