Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has urged governmental and non governmental organisations including donor agencies to intensify efforts towards zero malaria, noting that 3.3billion people mostly Africans remain at risk of the disease.
Ahead of the World Malaria Day 2021 slated for Sunday, April 25 with global theme: ‘Zero Malaria Starts With Me’, and PSN sub theme: “Pharmacists Stand Against Malaria”, PSN Chairman, Kaduna branch, Pharm. (Mrs). Talatu Uwa Ebune said that despite the progresses made in the last 20 years, malaria still threatens the lives of pregnant women and children under five.
Speaking in a statement on Thursday Pharm. Talatu said, “World Malaria Day is marked to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention, control and drive down incidence to zero. Despite the tremendous progress made in the fight against malaria in the last two decades, the disease is still life-threatening especially in pregnant women and children under 5 years of age.
“About 3.3 billion people (half of the world population) still live at risk of this preventable and treatable disease. Africa carries the highest share of the global malaria burden and Nigeria accounted for 25% of the 219 million global cases of malaria in 2017, it accounts for 60% of outpatient visits and 30% hospitalization in Nigeria.
“Malaria is associated with a significant burden on public health and economic stability, has a direct impact on households’ income, wealth and productivity of both the sick and the caregivers.
“As we mark World Malaria Day 2021, we commend the efforts of all stakeholders governments, healthcare team, international partners led by WHO, donor agencies, etc. for the successes achieved in the fight against malaria so far. We also use this opportunity to urge leaders at all levels to step up the fight and get us closer to a malaria-free world (zero malaria).
“More efforts are needed in preventive measures targeting the most vulnerable population, educating rural residents on disease transmission, environmental cleaning and sanitation. Government at all levels should endeavour to direct more funding efforts towards vaccine research and development.
“As part of the activities to commemorate this day, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Kaduna state chapter is organizing public enlightenment campaigns on malaria prevention, malaria testing and distribution of malaria prevention materials on 26th April, 2021 at PSN Kaduna secretariat, No.2 Ali Akilu road Kaduna.”