To commemorate the 2022 World Malaria Day (WMD), World Health Organization (WHO) and stakeholders have endorsed a collective, innovative and transformative approach towards tackling the malaria scourge in the Nigeria.
This call came at the Ministerial Press conference organized by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in collaboration with WHO and malaria control partners to mark WMD in Abuja on 26 April 2022.
Every year on 25 April, the World celebrates WMD.
Speaking at this year’s event, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the theme for 2022 WMD – Advance Equity, Build Resilience, End Malaria with the national slogan “Every effort counts”, reinforces the need for increased investment in malaria prevention and treatment services towards achieving a malaria-free country.
He commended the gratifying effort of partners who have been collaborating with the government in adopting various innovative tools toward achieving a malaria-free Nigeria.
“For a malaria-free Nigeria, let each of us play our parts, because every effort counts,” he said.
Over the years, the government of Nigeria and its partners have continued to develop and initiate new and innovative strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment to ensure a substantial reduction in the number of cases and deaths recorded each year due to long-standing disease in the country.
As a strategic partner of the FMoH, WHO provides technical support to the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) to identify, assess, design, implement and monitor malaria in Nigeria.
In his goodwill message to the WHO Country Representatives, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo said the theme aligns with WHO’s call to urgently scale up innovation and the deployment of new tools in the fight against malaria, while advocating for equitable access to malaria prevention and treatment, within the context of building health system resilience.
He acknowledged that recently, there has been a growing political commitment at country, regional and international levels to tackle malaria which has seen significant breakthroughs in malaria prevention and control, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
I believe that collaboratively, we can “Advance Equity, Build Resilience, End Malaria” and let us remember, “Every effort counts, he said.
According to Dr Mulombo, “WHO remains committed to continued partnership with FMoH/NMEP and all other Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partners through the provision of technical support and guidance to implement the activities necessary to meet the National goals.”
In their separate goodwill messages, partners which included, the Dangote Foundation (representing the Private Sector), USAID/PMI, and Catholic Relief Services – CRS (representing implementing partners), unanimously called for a collective innovative and transformative approach to the eradication of malaria. They also canvassed for additional investment and funding to continue supporting response to ensure that the malaria campaigns are implemented on time.
Highlights of the event was a commemoration walk in Abuja and various states across the country, free malaria testing, and an exhibition of innovative tools and drug used in combating the disease.
The World Malaria Report of 2021 estimated that 228 million malaria cases and over 600,000 malaria deaths occurred in 2020 within the WHO African Region, and this accounted for 95% of cases and deaths globally.