From Kemi Yesufu and Okwe Obi,
Abuja Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Audu Muhammed has disclosed that malaria still remains a major contributor to the country’s high infant mortality rate as the disease kills 30 children every one hour and rendering a substantial number of them incapable of effective learning.
According to UNICEF every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world.
Preventable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and HIV/AIDS account for more than 70 per cent of the estimated one million under-five deaths in Nigeria. Speaking at the media parley held in Abuja Monday, Audu, disclosed that the federal government has scaled up the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticides Nets (LLINS) across the country in an attempt to stop children from being infected with the disease.
Audu, who was represented by the Director, Monetary and Evaluation, NMEP, Dr. Perpetual Uhomoibhi, said Nigeria has recorded a reduction in the prevalence rate of malaria
He stated that 8.4 million nets have been distributed in Kogi, Edo andOsun States, with a total of 105million distributed across the country. “The prevalence of malaria has reduced from 42 percent to 27 percent (MIS, 2015). The National Insecticide Resistance Management (NIRM) plan has been finalised, it is meant to guide the country’s decision on malaria management in the future. “The National Malaria Elimination programme in partnership with Global Fund introduced the private sector Copayment Mechanism (PSCM) with a view to expanding access to high quality and effective anti-malaria medicines (ACTM) through the private sector,” he said.