Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged all stakeholders in the health sector to make greater efforts to enable Nigeria to achieve universal health coverage and eliminate malaria by 2020.
Okowa made the call in Asaba on Tuesday when the Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and some stakeholders in the health sector paid him an advocacy visit.
He said that to achieve the target by year 2020, all stakeholders including global health partners should support government’s efforts and programmes impacting positively on the people.
He lauded the Federal Government for initiating the Roll Back Malaria programme and expressed delight that his Delta had been included as one of the pilot states for the project.
He pledged his administration’s readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
“I am glad that Delta State is one of the states chosen for this programme, we are interested in the improvement of the health of our people.
“And we will collaborate with the Federal Government, and the global partners to ensure that the programme succeed as it will impact positively on the health of our people.
“We need to take the advocacy to the grassroots; we will mobilise the traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders in the communities to ensure the success of the programme for our people.
“This programme in addition to our Contributory Health Scheme will help in the achievement of universal health coverage and delivery for our people,” the governor said.
He said that the commencement of the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) in the state would be on June 7.
Okowa advised the government to take a critical look at the country’s high population and develop programmes aimed at checking population explosion in order to achieve universal health aims and objectives.
Earlier, the minister of health, who was represented by Dr Evelyn Ngige, Team leader, Roll Back Malaria programme, said that they were on an advocacy visit to the governor in furtherance of the malaria programme and the distribution of insecticidal nets.
He said that Delta had been chosen among other states for the pilot porgramme for the elimination of malaria by the year 2020.
The minister called for counterpart funding and other logistics support for the success of the programme in the state.
Malaria causes an estimated 300 to 500 million acute cases per year. Malaria is a disease of young and the poor, many of them children who live with no easy access to health service.
The goal of Roll Back Malaria programme is a significant reduction – ideally halving within ten years – in the global burden of disease associated with malaria.
The purpose of the programme is to create an environment that helps countries develop policies and implement relevant elements of RBM strategy.
There are six elements to roll back malaria. They are: early detection of malaria illness; rapid treatment of those who are ill; multiple means for preventing infection; strengthening of health sector and intersectoral activities; a powerful sustained social involvement and movement; focused research for new tools and better implementation. New tools are available to combat malaria.