In its bid to galvanise action towards averting one million new malaria cases and deaths, while empowering 20 million Nigerians to take action to end malaria by 2020, Access Bank and the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, PHN, have championed an innovative financing platform.
The initiative seeks to galvanise private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards complementing government’s effort in achieving its malaria pre-elimination goals by 2020, tagged “Malaria-To-Zero’ Initiative.
LAUNCH: From left – Group Managing Director, Reals Pharma Ltd,. Pharm. Adesanmi Popoola; Director R&R, NAFDAC, Dr. Monica Eimujenze; Registrar PCN, Pharm. Elijah Mohammed; President, PSN, Pharm Ahmed Yakassai and the Commissioner for Health, Niger State, Dr. Mustapha Jibrin during the launch of Reals Night Aid, a non habit- forming sleeping tablet, at the 89th National Conference of the PSN held in Minna, Niger State, recently. Speaking during the presentation of the first N50 million commitment by Huawei Technologies to support the fight against malaria, the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, noted that despite reduction in malaria cases in recent years, the disease is still responsible for at least 500,000 deaths globally, 90 percent in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Speaking during the presentation of the first N50 million commitment by Huawei Technologies to support the fight against malaria, the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, noted that despite reduction in malaria cases in recent years, the disease is still responsible for at least 500,000 deaths globally, 90 percent in Sub-Sahara Africa.
He expressed dissatisfaction with such alarming figures which he said led to the launch of private sector initiatives in April 2016 tagged, Malaria to zero, from commitment to action.
“Till date we have about 25 partners, and Huawei Technologies makes it 26. The platform will ensure that we provide the necessary support that required within Nigeria to coordinate our fight against malaria. It is therefore exciting for us as a bank and partner in this initiative to welcome Huawei. We hope their support will further inspire other private sector organisations to take actionable steps towards malaria elimination in our country.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of PHN, Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, said accelerating progress towards pre-elimination requires rethinking the way malaria interventions are developed, executed and financed, from a public, fragmented, tactical approach to an innovative public-private bespoke approach. “We need to address the issue of poor data and surveillance, fragmented governance and delivery, we need different innovation approach, he noted.”
In Nigeria, 97 per cent of the population is at risk of malaria with only 3 per cent not affected. Annually, Nigeria records an estimated 100 million cases of malaria with over 300,000 deaths and this is 2nd only to HIV/ AIDS that kills 215,000 people on an annual basis.