As Nigeria joins the global commemoration of World Mosquito Day, Amobi Ogah, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on malaria. He emphasised that malaria is a deadly parasite that poses a significant threat to the citizenry.
Ogah who represents the Isuiwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia state, released a statement on August 20, 2023 in Abuja, echoing his concern in light of the 2023 World Mosquito Day event; themed “Fighting the World’s Deadliest Killer – the Mosquito.”
The lawmaker, according to Vanguard, highlighted the purpose of World Mosquito Day, which aims to raise awareness about the causes of malaria, its prevention, and the danger of mosquito-borne diseases. He stressed the need to focus on eradicating the most dangerous mosquitoes due to the grave threat malaria poses to humanity.
“The House Committee on HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Control is well aware of the challenges Nigerians face in combating these diseases, particularly in the case of malaria,” Ogah said. He promised that the committee would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that allocated funds are appropriately utilized.
Citing data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Ogah highlighted that Nigeria is at the forefront of countries severely affected by malaria, accounting for 31.3% of global malaria-related deaths. Other countries on the list include the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 12.6%, Tanzania with 4.1%, and Niger with 3.9%.
Ogah pointed out that the WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030, updated in 2021, provides a roadmap for malaria-endemic countries like Nigeria. He urged the government to prioritize mosquito eradication by collaborating with stakeholders in the health sector, including NGOs, to address this pressing issue.
“Nigeria urgently needs protection from malaria, with its death toll accounting for nearly a third of the world’s annual 619,000 malaria-related deaths,” Ogah stated. He stressed the importance of focusing on eradicating the mosquito vector responsible for transmitting the disease.
The legislator called on all levels of government to intensify efforts to eliminate mosquitoes from the country, emphasizing the need for concerted action. He expressed concern that the government has not given sufficient attention to eradicating mosquitoes, which directly impact citizens’ lives and well-being.
In addition to his call for a state of emergency on malaria, Ogah reaffirmed the committee’s commitment to addressing the prevalence of counterfeit malaria medications in Nigeria. He asserted that tackling this issue is crucial to prevent further loss of lives due to ineffective treatments.
Ogah concluded by stating that the 10th House of Representatives is dedicated to implementing legislations that will contribute to malaria eradication in the country. With determination, he believes that Nigeria can effectively combat malaria and reduce its devastating impact on the population.