. As Dangote heads Nigeria End Malaria Council
The Federal Government yesterday said it hopes to save up to N2 trillion by 2030 from the malaria scourge up from N687 billion this year.
These savings are expected from the successful implementation of the Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC’s) agenda aimed to relieve the country from the economic burden of the disease.
This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari during the inauguration of the NEMC at the State House in Abuja, according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina.
The President told the 16-member Council headed by the Founder and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, that beyond improving the quality of life, health and wellbeing of Nigerians, the concerted strategy to tackle malaria had both public health as well as socio-economic benefits for Nigeria.
Buhari was quoted as saying: “Our inauguration today will therefore ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda, with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels.
“Additionally, the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good.”
Adesina listed the council members to include: Shehu Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President on Political and Economic Affairs; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF); Yahaya Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health; Abubakar Dahiru, Chairman, House Committee on AIDS, TB and Malaria; Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health; Joseph Ekumankama, Minister of State, Health; Mahmuda Mamman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Minister of Health.
Others include Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Board of Directors, UBA; Folurunsho Alakija, CEO, Rose of Sharon Group; Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank; Femi Otedola, CEO Forte Oil; Lami Lau, President, National Council of Women Societies; John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Emeritus Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese; Rafiyat Sanni, National Amira, Federation of Muslim Women Nigeria (FOWAN) and Perpetua Uhomoibhi, NEMC Secretariat/National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP).
…the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good.
Defending his choice of Dangote to chair the Council, Buhari said it was in recognition of the track record and passion of Africa’s richest man in supporting initiatives on various health issues such as polio and primary health care system strengthening.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Dangote thanked the president and all members of the council for entrusting him with the enormous responsibility, pledging to work hard to achieve the mandate.
“I must confess that this resonates with my current role as the Nigerian Ambassador for Malaria, my role on the Global End Malaria Council and with the work that my Foundation is doing to mobilise the private sector to support malaria control in Nigeria and Africa at large,” he said.
Earlier, Ehanire and Ekumankama while attributing the decline in the incidence of the disease to the thorough implementation of the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP), however, admitted that the funding gap has impacted the implementation of the malaria programmes in Nigeria.
According to them, the country needs N1.89 trillion to reduce malaria prevalence and mortality by 2025.
The country is currently implementing the NMSP 2021 to 2025, which requires about N1.89trillion, aimed to achieve a parasite prevalence of less than 10% and reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2025.