Nigeria needs to modify its malaria intervention strategies to achieve measurable success, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), has said.
Muntaqa Sadiq, chief executive officer of PHN, said this at a press conference held by Access Bank to discuss a financing platform that galvanises private sector resources to avert at least one million deaths by 2020.
He said the country needs to tap into the resources of private sector like the supply chain of beverage companies.
“The currency in the health sector is the number of lives saved and the goal of malaria to Zero is to save 1,000,000 lives from malaria death,” Sadiq said.
He said with about 100 million cases and 300,000 malaria deaths annually, Nigeria has the highest burden of malaria cases and casualties in the world.
Sadiq said it had become expedient for Nigeria to adopt an innovative public-private bespoke approach to achieve pre-elimination of malaria by 2020.
Also speaking at the event was Herbet Wigwe, chief executive officer of Access Bank, said malaria needs to be eliminated because it hampers productivity.
“Malaria kills business productivity and denies children access to education, we are strongly committed to malaria to zero so as to continuously strengthen a conducive platform aimed at supporting the National Malaria Elimination Strategy,” Wigwe said.
He reaffirmed the banks’s commitment to complementing government’s effort to attain pre-elimination goals through the malaria to zero initiative championed by Access Bank and Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria.
He said the bank championed the “innovative financing platform” and seeks to “integrate existing and new initiatives on eradicating malaria, and thus build synergies that produce impact far greater than what could be attained with fragmented efforts.”
The malaria to zero initiative took off on April 25, 2016 – the 2016 World Malaria Day – at Access Bank’s headquarters in Lagos with heads of over 20 private sector organisations, as well as representatives of government and implementing partners in attendance.