The 2018 World malaria day in Nigeria has made both the public and private sector key players brainstorm on the best strategies to implore in ending the sickness that reportedly claims over 300,000 lives annually, particularly, children under the age of 5.
“The federal government is working on the primary health care system to build on the national health system and part of it is the national health act and the basic health care provision funds, which is to facilitate setting up healthcare down to the grassroots and exploring all methods of research and research centres to find new ways of doing things”.
He also added that the government has agreed to fulfil its promise by partnering with the private sector due to their expertise and efficiency.
“We promise the private sector that we will make use of their expertise, efficiency and management skills and give them a full partnership in the management of all programs in which private sector is working with the government.”
“As regards resource mobilization for the private sector, in 2016 a private sector engagement strategy document was signed and it had key stakeholders, the document has not been finalized and we are willing to bring out the document and expand the scope, with regards to malaria eradication, he added.”
The minister also stated that the government has the platform, which can make the advocacy effective across the country.
“The Nigerian health care system is important as a platform for private partners to fight malaria, which has a high mortality rate in children due to the fact that they have not developed the immunity against malaria. Children with low protein cannot birth the antibodies to fight malaria and that is why they are prone to the malaria scourge”.
“If you have a platform that can take care of this problem on a broad basis, with inter-sectoral collaboration, then we will be on the way to finding a better solution. The ministry of health is working with the ministry of water resources and ministry of environment to also find ways of providing clean water and improving water supply in communities, particularly in rural areas. There is also the wash water hygiene sanitation, which brings the three ministries together to find solutions to basic health care problems”.
For key stakeholders like the GBCHealth, its president, Nancy Wildfeir-Field complained about the alarming statistics of mortality rate caused by malaria and reiterated the need for the private sector to embrace the fight.
“The statistics on malaria is alarming and it has a way of affecting the business, so companies should invest in malaria, which will help reduce the absenteeism within their workforce which then translate to productivity which will also lead to economic growth and within the process, education and awareness is important and employers can start with their workforce”.
“We have to work with communities and their leaders to overcome the cultural beliefs and welcome the idea of fighting malaria. Businesses can also use health insurance to help tackle malaria; their workforce can go to the hospital and get a treatment against malaria, she added”.
In a similar vein, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan who is the Head Sustainability for Access Bank intimated on the strategy deployed in reaching the grassroots who are radically exposed to malaria.
“There is a need for us to step up against malaria, there is also a need for private sector to take charge and Africans should take charge of issues facing the continent. The need for the public, private sector partnership is because we cannot do it alone and the corporate alliance has recorded a good success due to some few initiatives we have towards the elimination of malaria. This coalition is the only outfit that tends to tackle malaria as an independent issue”.
Victor-Laniyan added that; “There is an intense focus on malaria elimination and future eradication. What we are doing is that we are partnering with not-for-profit organisations that help us penetrate the grassroots. NGO partners help in implementing in the rural areas. The net distribution, usage and hang up strategy we have developed is to have a significant impact in the grassroots”.