Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has disclosed that about 300,000 people die annually as a result of malaria.
The governor, therefore, called on governments at all levels to pay more attention to the prevalence of malaria scourge in the country.
He said: “If government fails to pay more attention to malaria scourge in the country, a state of emergency should be declared in the health sector.”
The governor, who decorated the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, as the ‘Net Ambassador’, said this during the flag-off campaign on insecticides at Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, recently.
Represented by his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, Amosun said African region has a burden of 90 percent of preventable disease and 91 percent death disease world wide.
He said Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, accounts for about 24 percent of the disease and 24 percent of malaria death globally.
Amosun added that in Nigeria, today, malaria is responsible for approximately 60 percent out-patients visits and 30 percent of hospital admissions.
He said 110 million cases are clinically diagnosed annually and noted that malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito, happens to be the cause of death for about 300,000 persons yearly in Nigeria.
In the same vein, Minister of Health, Dr. Isaac Adewole, represented by Director General of the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Prof. Babatunde Salako, said flag off of the distribution of 3.3 million insecticidal nets in the state would increase elimination of malaria in the country.
He urged the state to take ownership of the campaign process, to ensure sustainability and admonished the traditional and religious leaders to support the process.
The Catholic Relief Services, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Mr. Karl Lowe, said malaria remains a major public health problem in Nigeria, considering its high level prevalence, which leads to increase in maternal and morbidity rate, especially among the children and pregnant women in the country.
Earlier, the ‘Net Ambassador’, Oba Gbadebo described malaria as a killer disease, adding that it has impoverished people in the country.