•Bodies harp on national plan to effectively contain disease
As part of activities to mark this year’s World Malaria Day (WMD) with the theme, “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria”, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has suggested how the nation could eliminate malaria by 2025.
Also, researchers from the University of Oxford and their partners, over the weekend, reported findings from a Phase IIb trial of a candidate malaria vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, which demonstrated high-level efficacy of 77 per cent over 12-months of follow-up.
In their findings, posted on SSRN/Preprints with The Lancet, they noted that it was the first to meet the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap goal of minimal 75 per cent efficacy.
PSN President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, yesterday, said Nigeria had the potential to eliminate disease in four years if it does environmental re-engineering, health education/promotion, free malaria test and undertakes treatment for under-five and pregnant women as well as research and development.
He said: “Malaria is a disease of public health importance and is influenced a lot by the environment. Government must be intentional with town planning and discourage unauthorised constructions that disrupt waterways. Drainages must be covered to discourage breeding sites for mosquitoes.”
SIMILARLY, NESH and WABIO Foundation have stressed the need for a national plan to curtail the spread of the disease.
To this end, the pair said a key intervention that would reduce deaths significantly, as the country worked towards the elimination of this long-term healthcare crisis was a Nigeria Emergency Malaria Test and Treat (NEMATT) platform that delivers scaled testing and treatment in the country.
In a joint statement yesterday by founders of the two organisations, Emeka Ugwu-Oju and Mrs. Ebele Enemchukwu, they observed that the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic showed what the project “is possible when the private sector and public-spirited individuals rally behind a healthcare crisis.”