241 Million Nigerians were sick with Malaria from January to April 2022/ WHO
Residents of Ondo State have spent over N20 billion on malaria treatment, a new steering committee for World Bank Immunization Plus and Malaria Progress by Accelerating Coverage and Transforming Services also known as IMPACT project has said.
It was gathered that the project was part of the efforts to eradicate malaria disease among the residents of the state, particularly the children.
Speaking during the inauguration of the steering committee held at the state Ministry of Health, the head of the committee and state Malaria Programme Manager, Dr Waheed Folayan explained that the project would strengthen the efforts to fight malaria in the state.
Folayan disclosed, in his overview, that residents of the state spend about N20 billion on the prevention and treatment of malaria disease annually.
He said" It is estimated that Nigerians spend 25% of their annual income treating malaria. In addition, it generally reduces Nigeria's GDP annually by one per cent.
"In addition, malaria has been noted to be a cause of poverty. Today an estimated 100 million Nigerians live on less than $1.9 per day.
"In Ondo State for example, it is estimated that every household spent an out of pocket of at least N8,000 on preventive materials and treatment with antimalarial across about 1.5 million households estimated at a cost of about ₦12 Billion out of the economy of Ondo State annually."
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Ajaka said the IMPACT project would strengthen the health sector of the state, adding that the main objective was to reduce the under-five mortality rate by 40 percent in the first phase
According to him, the developmental objective of the project was to improve the utilization and quality of immunization and malaria services in the state.
" As of 2020 when IMPACT started, the national mortality was 132 per cent However, Ondo state's under-five mortality rate is 65 percent per 1,000 life birth, reducing by 40% will bring us to 25 percent. We are far better than the national figure but we are going to still do more to reduce it more.
Ajaka noted that the project was a five-year project which had already started in 2020, charging the committee to fast-track the assignment in order to deliver as meet the target in 2025.
"We have a herculean task before us, this programme started in 2020 and it is a five-year project which means we have just two years to implement the programme. We need to speed up the implementation, the Project Implementation Unit and the steering committee are to work together as fast as possible to achieve the goal of the project."
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Folukemi Aladenola said the state steering committee had received the formal approval of the governor and had made available the commitment fee of N80million only for the malaria project with World Bank to support the reduction of malaria prevalence in the state.
She noted that the gesture of the government is a reflection of the state government's commitment to advancing healthcare and ensuring the health of the people is taken care of.