• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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World Malaria Day 2024: Stakeholders renew commitment towards domestic resource mobilisation in A/Ibom

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Stakeholders in the fight against malaria have renewed their commitment towards domestic resource mobilisation that will ensure equitable access to health, gender equity and reduced burden of the disease in Akwa Ibom State.

The commitment was made during a one-day stakeholders’ meeting in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State as part of this year’s World Malaria Day celebration which attracted development partners, malaria experts, captains of industries and members of the organised private sector and top government officials.

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The meeting also created an opportunity for active collaboration between the public and private sector stakeholders that contributed to the reduction of malaria burden particularly among the most vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children under five years of age.

Among the private sector players, Ibom Air, announced the donation of malaria commodities including insecticide-treated nets.

Zenith Bank, pharmaceutical companies and Mobil Producing Nigeria as well as the Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Professor Emem Bassey showed their presence.

Among the partners was the World Health Organisation (WHO) which highlighted the need for collaboration in malaria response for a healthy society in line with the theme of this year’s commemoration which is ‘Accelerating the Fight Against Malaria for a More Equitable World.’

Other partners were Breakthrough Action Nigeria, United States President Malaria Initiatives for States (PMI-S), the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Akwa Ibom State Malaria Elimination Programme as well as the directorate, public health services and the state ministry of Health.

Speaking, John Orok, the programme manager, Akwa Ibom State Malaria Elimination Programme, said it was important to narrow the funding gap in the fight against malaria adding that depending on donor funding was not good enough.

“No effort will be too much in the fight against malaria, it requires all hands to be on deck, we need to attract the private sector and narrow the funding gap,’’ he said.

According to him, the insecticide-treated nets should get to as many households as possible, the information, education and communication materials should be translated into local languages and other commodities adding that “it was important to bring people from various backgrounds together because everybody is affected by malaria, which is preventable.”

Declaring the stakeholders’ meeting open, the Commissioner for Health, Augustine Umo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Patrick Eshiet said it was time for all to come together to eliminate malaria, pointing out that “we cannot continue to rely on foreign donors.’’

He called for increased funding and more resources for research on malaria and efficient use of available resources, raise awareness and encourage preventive measures including the use of insecticide-treated nets.

Nigeria has the highest burden of malaria globally accounting for nearly 27 percent of the global malaria burden, according to experts.