The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for increased global effort for the prevention and treatment of malaria, which is responsible for the loss of over 600,000 lives yearly, ensuring better funding for research and development, deployment of new tools and expanding access to services for the most-at-risk population.
Obaseki made the call in commemoration of 2023 World Malaria Day, with the theme, “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement.” The World Malaria Day is marked every April 25, by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment to malaria prevention and control.
The governor, who acknowledged the incredible progress made in reducing the global burden of the disease, noted that despite the success so far recorded, millions of people, especially women and children in sub-Saharan Africa and other endemic regions remain susceptible to malaria as they still lack the services needed to prevent, detect and treat the disease.
According to Obaseki, “This year’s World Malaria Day presents us with yet another opportunity to strengthen efforts and partnerships to reduce the global burden of the malaria disease, one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases estimated to have claimed over 600, 000 lives annually across the globe. “While we recognize the significant progress made in malaria elimination and eradication, it is imperative to acknowledge that more work needs to be done if the 2030 zero-malaria target must be achieved.
“We must step up efforts and collaborations to expand access to services and enhance the deployment of new tools for the detection, treatment, and prevention of malaria, including innovative diagnostics, medicines, vaccines, vector control products, and improved mechanisms for surveillance and response, especially for the most-at-risk population.” Reaffirming the government’s commitment to strengthening the health system, the governor added that his government has embarked on interventions, including the distribution of treated mosquito nets, advocacy, and others to ensure that the people are properly equipped to fight malaria and other diseases.