Experts in the health sector have identified Nigerians reluctant attitude towards science proven interventions as a bane to the fight against malaria in the country.
They, therefore, reiterated that sleeping on treated insecticide nets every night was key to achieving a malaria free nation.
Speaking at the event of the Support to National Malaria Programme (SuNMaP) end of programme report dissemination in Abuja, National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr Nnenna Ezeigwe, regretted that most Nigerians are reluctant in adopting the strategies and intervention, which according to her, has greatly hampered the progress in malaria control.
She said “low uptake of interventions is one of our problems that is militating fast progress in the fight against malaria”.
She however said that “currently in some states we have embarked on interpersonal communication strategies in the grassroots where we get communication experts to interact with people within the communities to let them understand the need to take the interventions that have been proven to be working.”
Ezeigwe also called on Nigerians to embark on environmental management, saying “Individuals should keep their environment clean and clear all bodies of water in the general environment. They should observe general hygiene and always sleep under the net every night.”
On his part, the Country Director of Malaria Consortium, Dr. Kolawole Maxwell, disclosed that the UK government through the Department for International Development (DFID) has invested over 89 million pounds to support the malaria programme in 8 years (2008-2016), in Nigeria.
According to him, the essence was to reach the general population, especially, the poorest and most vulnerable with evidence based interventions that would help control the disease and reduce the malaria burden.
“By the end of the project, through SuNMap, alone, over four million nets were procured and distributed in public facilities and an estimated 2.2 millions nets sold through the commercial sector.
“An estimated 2.7 million doses of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) and 2.7 million malaria rapid diagnostic tests were procured and distributed and SunMap supported the sales of over five million ACTs through the commercial sector.
“In terms of antimalarial drugs, 5.6 million doses of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for prevention of malaria in pregnancy and 1.46 sp/amodiaquine distributed for seasonal malaria chemoprevention were distributed by project end’ he noted.
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