2014 World malaria Day commemoration invites increased investments to accelerate control

This Year, the World Malaria Day commemoration in Nigeria assumed a new dimension as the WHO Country Office of Nigeria supported a wide-range of activities across the five (5) states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Lagos and Ogun to showcase commitment and partnership with the private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations, the media, research institutions, academia and the community in the fight against Malaria. The overall objective of this year’s World Malaria Day commemoration was to generate broad gains in multiple areas of health and human development for the accelerated control of malaria. 

In  Abia State, the Honorable Minister of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu flagged off the National event for World Malaria Day on 25th April,2014. In his remarks, the Minister highlighted the new Malaria strategic Plan for 2014-2020; indicating its overall noble aim of taking the country to pre-elimination stage of malaria by 2020. He hence called upon all stakeholders present including the State Governments for increased commitment and funding in malaria so as to help the country fast-track elimination of malaria through a 3-year campaign started in 2013 in line with the theme of this year’s commemoratory event which is ‘Invest in the future; defeat Malaria’.

In Lagos State, commemoratory events were held at Eti Osa, Ibeju Lekki and Apapa Local Government Areas to sensitize community members on appropriate actions for malaria prevention and treatment, with strong emphasis on environmental hygiene, appropriate use of Insecticide treated nets and prompt health seeking behavior for effective malaria diagnosis as well as treatment. At the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, a seminar was conducted on progress and challenges of ‘Malaria Control and Elimination in Nigeria’. The seminar noted declining inpatient malaria cases/deaths as well as the remaining challenge of low utilization/uptake of malaria prevention/treatment services.

WHO also supported launching of the ‘’Nite Watch Campaign: Malaria No More,’’ and “Doctors Discuss Malaria.” Which are national media campaigns to promote improved use of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets during one of the two capacity building workshop on case management of Malaria targeting public, private and NGO facility health workers in Akwa Ibom State. 

In Bauchi, the State Ministry of Health through the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria launched the 2014 World Malaria Day commemoratory ceremony at the palace of the village head of Gokaru. Indeed, the event was graced by the representative of the wife of the State Governor who appealed to the community for ownership and participation in the fight against malaria.