House Committee Move To Stop Spread Of Fake Malaria Drugs

2023-07-31 16:39:00

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

ABUJA - The House of Representative Committee on HIV, Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Hon Amobi Ogah has promised that his newly constituted committee will work to stop the spread of fake malaria drugs causing death across the country.

Hon. Ogah who represents the people of Isuiwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia state, made the commitment at a press briefing in National Assembly, Abuja.

Hon. Ogah explained that the prevalence of fake malaria drugs that have recorded death across the country will be looked into by his committee to avoid further death.

He also made a commitment to his committee to carry out its oversight functions to ascertain the role of primary health care in the Roll-back Malaria Program.

He said "Nigeria is a country in need of protection from malaria. Its death toll from the disease makes up nearly a third of the world's 619,000 malaria deaths a year.

According to him: "The immediate past Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire was quoted during the 2023 world malaria day that an estimated 55 million cases of malaria with nearly 90,000 malaria deaths occur every year in Nigeria. He was also quoted to have said that the economic burden of malaria in Nigeria is estimated at $1.6b (N687bn) in 2022 and may increase to about $2.8bn (N2tn) in 2030.

"These statistics are scary and there is a need for urgent attention. That is why the committee will partner with USAID, WHO, USAID, Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Global Fund for Malaria Control, Society for Family Health among other stakeholders in ensuring that malaria is eradicated in the country or reduced barest minimum.

The Lawmaker further stated that his committee will also ensure adequate implementation of legislations geared towards the eradication of malaria in the country, adding that where such legislations are not adequate, his committee will work to provide the needed amendment to such existing legislations for the general good of the Nigerian people.

Speaking on the challenges of HIV/AIDs and Malaria globally particularly in Nigeria, the Chairman stated that the House Committee on HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control was not unmindful of the challenges being faced by Nigerians in the fight against these ailments especially in the fight against the control of Malaria in the country which appear to defile solutions.

He further explained that in the area of HIV/AIDS, the WHO report has it that the disease remains a major global public health issue having claimed over 32.9 and 51.3 million lives so far with ongoing transmission in all countries globally.

According to him, the WHO has also expressed concern that some countries are reporting increasing trends in new infections which were previously on the decline globally. Nigeria is not left out of this trend. There is still no cure for HIV infection. However, with access to effective HIV prevention diagnosis, treatment and care, including for opportunistic infections, HIV infection has become a manageable chronic health condition, enabling people living with HIV to live long and healthy lives.

The mandate of sensitizing the people falls on NACA which is one of the agencies we will oversight. We will work to strengthen the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country. We will ensure that the National Agency for the Control of AIDS is strengthened through legislation and funding to be in a better position to deliver on its mandate, while also ensuring accountability and probity.

"While Nigeria continues to fight the spread of HIV, AIDS, we are worried with the level of awareness on the prevailing spread of the disease hence the need to work towards carrying out oversight functions on MDAs under the purview of the Ministry of Health saddled with this responsibility as well as international partners with a view to finding a lasting solution.

We are also aware of the level of blood transfusion from mother to child and will do due diligence.

"The onus is on you and I to work towards achieving Nigeria's Sustainable Development goal SDG (3) which falls under good health and well-being.

In November 2021, the World Health Organization reported that although Nigeria recorded a gain in its fight against TB in 2020, the country still ranks sixth among 30 TB High Burden countries in the world and has the highest burden in Africa.

The World body said the situation in Nigeria necessitates a continuous strategic intervention by the federal government. the WHO, and partners to reduce the burden of the disease in the country by 2030. As such, as a committee, we will ensure adequate oversight of all agencies under our purview, while also strengthening the fight against Tuberculosis in the country

We will carry out a conscious campaign within our legislative function to ensure that all TB Centers in the country are well funded to carry out their mandate.

"The committee will work with relevant stakeholders in the fight against malaria in ensuring that monies budgeted for are used for the purpose for which they are made.

"According to World Health Organization, Four African countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths worldwide: Nigeria top this list with 31.3%, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 12.6%, Tanzania (4.1%) and Niger (3.9%).

"I am aware that the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030, which was updated in 2021, provides a technical framework for all malaria- endemic countries, including Nigeria. This document is expected to guide and support regional and country programmes on malaria control as they work towards control and elimination of malaria.

The technical strategy include: Reducing malaria case incidence by at least 90% by 2030, reducing malaria mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030, eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries by 2030, preventing a resurgence of malaria in all countries that are malaria-free.

To this end we will work with all Ministries, Departments and Parasatals to also ascertain the level of awareness and sensitization created in Nigeria.

"Our scope will also include the National Orientation Agency, NAFDAC, NCDC, and Ministry of Health among others.

"As the Chairman House Committee on HIV, Aids, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA, I am aware we need the media to achieve this giant step

"We cannot achieve this lofty height without the media reporting extensively roll out activities of malaria in Nigeria. As we all know the role of the media cannot be overemphasized.

We are ready to hit the ground running from day one in view of the enormous responsibility ahead of us," he added.

2023-07-31 News