Abuja - Nigeria loses N132 billion to malaria annually in the form of treatment cost, prevention and loss of man hours, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said.
This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Osahon Onabulele, the President of the NMA, to commemorate the World Malaria Day.
The statement said that Nigeria accounts for a quarter of all malaria cases in the WHO African region.
It put the current malaria related maternal mortality at 11 per cent, while malaria related annual death for children under-five years of age is estimated at around 300 000.
The statement called on government at all levels and stakeholders to increase their commitment to malaria campaign as a show of support to the eradication of the disease from the African continent.
``We appeal for more strategic and robust planning, effective partnership and coordination with investment of more resources into the campaign to eradicate malaria.
``With continued commitment from states and Federal Government as well as external partners, we are convinced that a national scale-up of malaria control interventions to protect Nigerians and the world from malaria is achievable.’’
It called for greater commitment to research efforts for the development of malaria vaccines which, ``would result in long term success in the global campaign to defeat malaria’’.
The statement said there was a need for increased development aid on national malaria control programmes to ensure widespread population access to life-saving and cost effective interventions.
It also called for an increase in the distribution of insecticide treated nets and intensification and expansion of the coverage of indoor residual spraying.
The statement said that there should also be sustained training of health workers and increased enlightenment of Nigerians.
NAN reports that April 25 of every year is set aside by the WHO to commemorate World Malaria Day.
The World Malaria Day evolved from a decision by the African Heads of State on April 25 to intensify efforts to half malaria mortality in Africa by 2012.
The day highlights the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.