The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), has expressed concern over the high rate of malaria and its attendant casualties in Nigeria.
The concern was raised in a statement to mark the 2021 World Malaria Day, signed by the Association’s National President, Ladi Bala and National Secretary, Helen Udofa.
NAWOJ stressed the urgent need for the Federal Government to develop a strong political will towards eliminating malaria in the country.
The 2019 World Malaria Report by the World Health Organization (WHO), indicated that in 2018, Nigeria had the highest number of all cases globally at 25% and accounted for the highest number of deaths at 24% globally.
“NAWOJ frowns at this alarming figure, as this year’s theme: “Zero Malaria, Draw the Line Against Malaria,” is an indication that malaria is preventable. Therefore, every malaria death is unacceptable.
“As a country that bears the brunt of malaria burden, Nigeria should be leading the cause to stamp out malaria by 2030”, it said.
It also believes that for Nigeria to achieve zero malaria this year, there is the need for a stronger primary health care system that must ensure access to malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment services.
The Women Journalists then urged Nigerians to take personal responsibility to eliminate malaria in their communities as zero malaria in the country begins with everyone.
“It is imperative for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets, particularly pregnant women and children from age zero to five while eliminating mosquito breeding sites as well as proper sanitation of surroundings will help in the fight against the deadly disease”.
NAWOJ, however, called on women groups as well as other relevant stakeholders to intensify advocacy and awareness campaigns to solicit the support of all and sundry in the fight the disease.