[Abuja]–The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has sought the support of the U.S in eliminating malaria in Nigeria by 2020.
The Minister made the call in Abuja on Monday, at the 2017 World Malaria Day celebration organised by the U.S Embassy.
The minister commended the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) for its support, which he said included financial, logistics, technical input also by provision of nets, indoor residual spray and other anti-Malaria commodities.
Others, he said, were implementation of malaria and pregnant initiative; advocacy and campaign; monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building at all levels of government.
“Our target is to achieve zero mortality rate from malaria by 2020, very ambitious target but doable, we can achieve it; that no Nigeria died of malaria by 2020.
“We are working together with the Governors’ Forum to build a strong alliance on health system, to treat malaria continue with the prevention of malaria and make sure we take malaria off the street.
“I use this occasion to solicit for more support to enable us achieve a pre-elimination phase in 2020,” he said.
According to him, USAID/Presidential Malaria Initiative is covering 11 States and the National Malaria Programme with a substantial investment of about 490 million dollars in Nigeria.
He said that the effort showed that malaria was being attacked by all fronts by the supporting partners, indicating that malaria would soon be over in Nigeria.
“A look at some indices shows that we are still far from our dream of malaria free Nigeria.
“Our current Malaria Strategic Plan which is meant to lead us to pre-elimination, has been praised for being focused and articulate, but it is coming at a time when the resources for malaria control are dwindling.
“In addition, there are limited resources for effective programme coordination, monitoring and evaluation,” he said.
According to him, we cannot pretend to be unaware that malaria is still affecting and still killing; “we must redouble our efforts so we want to ask for more’’.
He assured that the Federal Ministry of Health under his leadership would account for “every penny” donated to this course.
It should be remembered that aside from the fight to eradicate malaria, Nigeria is still involved in the fight against meningitis outbreak, which has killed over 600 Nigerians.