Over 90% of funding for malaria schemes comes from donors
• 45.9m Nigerians infected yearly • NMEP decries poor diagnosis, treatment
Except the salaries of government employees at relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), funds for malaria programmes in the country are almost entirely from donors.
Investigation by The Guardian revealed that over 90 per cent of money comes from the Global Funds for AIDS, TB and Malaria and the United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
At a forum aimed at improving media coverage on malaria at the weekend, the Head, Case Management at National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Dr. Godwin Ntadom, said: “No kobo is coming from government, except salaries. Except for donors, there would be no fund for malaria programmes, even for procurement.”
Data from NMEP indicates that the country recorded 15 per cent reduction in the prevalence of malaria, from a national average of 42 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent in 2015. The data also shows that the prevalence in Lagos is less than two per cent (400,000 of 20 million people) while it is 64 per cent in Kebbi State. This means that 45.9 million Nigerians have at least a bout of malaria yearly.
Also, experts decried the misdiagnosis, over diagnosis and treatment of malaria in Nigeria. They said that most fevers in Nigeria are not due to malaria but rather caused by viral infections even as they urged Nigerians to test with the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) or visit a reputed laboratory for tests before treatment.
They insisted that chloroquine remained banned for the treatment of malaria but recommended Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACT).
Ntadom disclosed that the efficacious tools that secured gains against malaria at the beginning of the century are now under threat. He said resistance by mosquitoes to insecticides used in nets and indoor residual spraying is growing, adding that further progress against malaria would require new methods and new technologies.
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