Today is World Malaria Day – Aliko Dangote Speaks On Vital Points
For the second consecutive year, the annual report produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that a reduction in malaria cases has stalled after several years of global decline. Nearly half the world’s population is at risk of malaria – a disease that killed 435,000 people in 2017 and still kills a child every two minutes. The WHO African Region is the hardest hit, bearing 93% of malaria deaths, with Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for 36% of all malaria cases.
According to WHO, the continued rise of malaria in countries with the highest burden of the disease and inadequate international and domestic funding represents the greatest threat and reasons for the current setback in malaria control and elimination. It is estimated that annual malaria funding will need to increase to at least US$ 6.6 billion per year by 2020 to reach the Global Technical Strategy 2030 targets (reducing global malaria incidence and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030). Last year, just US$ 3.1 billion was invested.
Malaria has a devastating impact not only on the health and wellbeing of people around the world but also on business, economic growth and stability. The economic impact of malaria is estimated to cost Africa $12 billion every year, due to malaria-related absenteeism, loss of productivity and treatment costs as well as loss of investment and tourism. Every year that we don’t eliminate malaria is another year of unfulfilled human and economic potential.
This day, April 25th as we commemorate World Malaria Day – is an opportunity to highlight our progress against malaria and assess the challenges and our efforts as a continent and as a nation to eliminate malaria. Despite a stall in progress since 2015, the global malaria response is in a much better place than it was at the start of the 21st century. Over the last decade, substantial progress has been made in the control of malaria in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, through investment from the government, private sector and other partners…
But progress stagnates and the benefits reaped by malaria control efforts over the years can be lost unless durable investments and commitments are made to ensure continued success.
To get the reduction in malaria deaths and disease back on track, the WHO calls for the adoption of “high burden high impact” model, which emphasises increased political will, increased funding, especially domestic funding and implementing a coordinated country response.
It is more critical than ever for all stakeholders in the global health community to come together to unite around a common goal: to accelerate the pace of progress, especially in high burden countries and eliminate malaria. In addition, I would encourage countries to take more ownership, by committing more funds, developing strategic partnerships, new strategies, and new tools towards ending the scourge of malaria.
As the UN Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria, I’m committed to this fight; and as an organization, malaria remains a core focus for Dangote Group of Industries. Our strategy is hinged on prevention and control starting from the workplace to communities. We are currently rolling out a comprehensive malaria-training programme for staff aimed at increasing awareness, prevention and control of malaria as well as reducing related absenteeism at selected Dangote workplaces, these and more we are doing to contribute to the fight. But I cannot do it alone, no organization or sector can achieve the ambitious goal of malaria elimination alone. I, therefore, want to call on all stakeholders, public sector, private sector, donors, non-governmental organisations, and others to redouble their commitment and join me in this fight to eliminate malaria. Together, let us save our children, family, nation and continent.
ALIKO DANGOTE, GCON
United Nations (UN) Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria[/b]
SOUNDAZA MEDIA (INC)Lekki Phase 1 (Lagos State , Nigeria)