Today, April 25, is World Malaria Day which is set aside to shed light on the efforts being put in place across the world to keep malaria from causing more damage than it already has.
But according to a 2017 World Malaria Report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria is struggling with a funding gap of up to $1.4 billion in the efforts to curb the scourge of malaria by 2020. Malaria witnessed a rise in cases recorded for the first time in a decade in 2016 no thanks to a dip in funds to combat the disease, climate change, as well as the mosquito and parasite becoming resistant to tools used in efforts to fight malaria.
These make for depressing stats in a country where more than 90% of the population is at risk of infection, accounts for about 30% of malaria cases in Africa, and has the highest prevalence of malaria in the world.
So it comes as a glimmer of hope that Nigeria has just secured a $300 million financing from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and African Development Bank to boost the country’s efforts against malaria.
Nigeria has also pledged $18.7 million towards the distribution of 15 million mosquito nets, while the United Kingdom has pledged £50 million towards the fight against malaria.
WHO, meanwhile, believes these collective efforts will help save up to 650,000 lives annually while also calling on the government to accelerate preventive measures to help decrease incidences of malaria by 2020.
However, on a personal level, you can also do your bit in the fight against malaria by using bed nets sprayed or soaked in insecticide, spraying insecticide around sleeping areas, staying indoors at night, and wearing protective clothing.
For young children, very old adults and pregnant women who naturally have a lower level of immunity against malaria , keeping away from areas with a high risk of infection is advised.