Home Health Expert urges Nigeria to lead in eradicating malaria in Africa

Expert urges Nigeria to lead in eradicating malaria in Africa

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Ousmane Kiota, a cell and molecular biologist at the University of Bamako, Mali, has urged Nigeria to intensify efforts to eradicate malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr Kiota made this plea on Tuesday during a public lecture marking the 90th birthday of Prof. Sylvanus Cookey, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).

Mr Kiota emphasised the need for the Nigerian government to collaborate with other regional governments, showing strong political commitment to combat the scourge.

“We must prioritise malaria elimination and address the challenges ahead to make Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan countries malaria-free. Malara parasite has evolved, so we should ask ourselves what we can do, not as a country, but as a continent to rid malaria from Africa.

“As a continent, we must ensure that every African and family can conduct malaria tests on their own without relying on health centres,” he said.

Mr Kiota advocated increased funding for programmes and a more effective action plan to implement malaria research policies in the sub-region.

“There should be easy access to malaria kits for people to self-check for malaria instead of them going to see a physician or nurse. So, we should have a political engagement to provide resources to scientists and medication to communities for malaria elimination.

“Governments need to allocate to fight malaria, recognising that it is not a European or American problem, but an African problem that requires African solutions,” he added.

The professor stressed the importance of commitment to tackling the scourge, considering the parasite’s ability to evolve and evade detection by some vaccines.

(NAN)

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