Coordinator of the National Malaria Control, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe said the country needed about $700 million (about N112 billion) within the next three years to eradicate malaria.
Speaking in Abuja at the 2014 GBCHealth/CAMA Annual Technical Forum themed: “Capitalising on Competences: Partnering to Eliminate Malaria and Accelerate Impact on Maternal and Child Health”, which was supported by Access Bank Plc, she said the federal government alone does not have the financial capacity to address malaria.
She urged other tiers of government, including the private sector to form partnerships in order to rid the country of the disease.
He also lamented that though government’s strategies at containing malaria including the distribution of treated mosquito nets to communities had recorded 80 per cent coverage, most Nigerians still do not make use of their nets.
She said there was need to improve awareness nationwide.
“We have about over 80 per cent coverage of nets through campaign and even continuous distribution of nets, distribution is going on even as I speak with you, we do not have problems with that. The problem is with usage. Even people that have it, most of them don’t use it. Only less than 50 per cent of the whole population are using the nets.
“The problem is getting the message out there. People don’t understand why they should use it. We need to continuously remind them because when you hear something once, it may not make too much of a sense but if you continue to hear it every day, it may begin to make common sense.
“Government cannot do it alone, we don’t have the money. This is a very large country; government cannot do it alone to reach all the nooks and cranny. State and local governments can come in, private sector can come in- and everybody doing it together”, she said.
Head, Development Banking, Access Bank, Mr. Oluwatoyin Idowu, who also spoke at the occasion said:”We believe in strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) and being one of the leading banks in the country, we believe that we need to give back to the community and this is one of the things that we have been doing under our CSR.
We have done a couple of things in the past and we will continue to do it. We partner with them (GBC Health) to ensure that the subject of discourse, which is eradication of malaria and maternal and child mortality is addressed.”
“As you know, health is wealth. So we believe that this is an area that you really have to focus on when you solve these issues you make the world a better place.
He said the bank accords much privilege to the health care sector “because we believe that a healthy society will help create more wealth and enhance the development of the nation.”