By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The Federal Government, on Tuesday, expressed worry that over N300 billion has been lost annually to the scourge and menage of malaria disease.
Speaking at the commemoration of the World Malaria Day, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said that the loss is mostly linked from treatment costs, preventions costs and loss of man-hours.
Findings show that malaria is one of the principal reasons for poor school attendance in many settings because it accounts for 13 to 15 percent of medical reasons for absenteeism from school.
Evidence has further shown that 10 percent reduction in malaria is associated with increase of 0.3 percent growth per year.
In Nigeria, malaria is responsible for around 60 percent of the out-patient visits to health facilities, 30 percent of childhood death, 25 percent of death in children under one year and 11 percent of maternal deaths.
Similarly, about 70 percent of pregnant women suffer from malaria, which contributes to maternal anaemia, low birth birth weight, stillbirths, abortions and other pregnancy related complications.
The Minister, as a result informed of Federal Government’s determination to end the scourge of the malaria disease by 2022, informing further that the Federal Ministry of Health had two strategic interventions through Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and Larval Source Management (LSM) in the current National Malaria Strategic Plans (NMSP) 2014-2020, which the government is working with to address concerns posed by the malaria disease.
Golobally,it would be noted that 3.4 billion people are at the risk of the disease malaria with 1.2 billion people at higher risk.
In 2012,malaria was responsible for the death of approximately 482,000under-five children even though an estimated 136 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) were distributed to endemic countries the same year.
Notbaly, malaria is still a major public health concern particular in sub-saharan Africa, especially in Nigeria, as stakeholders want the federal government to encourage local vaccine production for the scourge and encourage insecticide Treated net local production to ensure availability.