The Federal Government has appealed to the United States for support to eliminate malaria in Nigeria by 2020.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made the call on Monday at the 2017 World Malaria Day celebration organised by the US Embassy in Abuja.
He stated that the Federal Government was determined to achieve the feat by 2020, noting that available indices in the country indicated that the dream of a malaria-free nation was far from being realised.
He said, “Our target is to achieve zero mortality rate from malaria by 2020, very ambitious target but do-able; we can achieve it that no Nigerian died of malaria by 2020.
“We are working together with the (Nigerian) Governors Forum to build a strong alliance on health system, to treat malaria with the prevention of malaria and make sure we take malaria off the street.
“I use this occasion to solicit for more support to enable us to achieve a pre-elimination phase in 2020.”
He commended the US Agency for International Development for its support which he said included financial, logistics, technical input and also provision of nets, indoor residual spray and other anti-malaria commodities.
Adewole explained that USAID/Presidential Malaria Initiative covered 11 states with a substantial investment of about $490m.
He added that the effort showed that malaria was being attacked on all fronts by the supporting partners, indicating that malaria would soon be over in Nigeria.
“A look at some of the indices showed that we are still far from our dream of malaria-free Nigeria. Our current Malaria Strategic Plan, which is meant to lead us to pre-elimination, has been praised for being focused and articulate, but it is coming at a time when the resources for malaria control are dwindling,” he said.
The US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, David Young, called on Nigerians to be committed to sleeping in a treated bed net every night to end malaria for good.
Young warned against the use of chloroquine in treating malaria “because it does not cure the disease.”
He added, “Ending malaria for good is achievable if we play our individual and collective roles, remember that malaria is preventable: Ensure that you and all members of your household sleep under a treated bed net every night.”