Nigerian Health Minister Says $9M Needed To Control Malaria in Country; WHO Officials Says Polio Eradication in Nigeria Possible
About 1.3 billion naira, or almost $9 million, is needed in addition to the World Bank's grant of $300 million to control malaria in Nigeria, Babatunde Osotimehin, Nigeria's health minister, said recently at an event in Abuja, Nigeria, to mark the distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), the Vanguard reports.
More than 60 million ITNs will be distributed to Nigerian households by 2010, Osotimehin said. "Looking at the size and population of Nigeria, we require"at least $9 million to control malaria in the country, he said, adding that the federal government has created a malaria control strategy that requires widespread education in addition to the distribution of ITNs. "The Nigerian government is determined to accelerate and intensify efforts on malaria control" over the next five years, according to Osotimehin (Vanguard, 5/12).
Also in Nigeria, the WHO's country representative, Peter Eriki, said Nigeria is on route to eradicating polio if it can continue to immunize children around the country, the Daily Trust reports. According to the Daily Trust, he commended traditional rulers' and elders' roles in educating people about the importance of immunization.
Eriki said, "We must applaud the renewed energy for the eradication of polio, we have made tremendous effort, but we must however ensure a systematic involvement of all stakeholders especially the traditional leaders if we as a nation must interrupt the transmission of polio by 50% before the end of the year."
The health minister also called for the revitalization of primary care in the country. "Primary health care remains the corner stone of Nigeria's health system," Osotimehin said, adding, "It is our central strategy for improving health outcomes for our people; and routine immunisation and the polio eradication are important opportunities for improving the primary health care system" (Daily Trust, 5/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.