The Oyo State House of Assembly Committee on Health has pledged its support for funding malaria programmes and ensuring free malaria treatment in all hospitals across the state.
The committee made the pledge during an advocacy visit of the U.S President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) for States, to the Oyo State House of Assembly.
Chairman, Oyo State House Committee on Health, Hon. Rilwan Saminu welcoming the US PMI-S stated that Oyo State must not concede in its fight against malaria.
According to him, between January and December of 2021, 439,637 persons had a fever, 296,825 persons tested positive for fever while 3088 cases of severe malaria cases were recorded.
“Malaria is responsible for a significant percentage of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most helpless group affected. These are reasons we must not concede in fighting malaria.
“The State House Assembly and Committee on Health would be proactive in steps to come up with legislation that would further enhance the efforts being made towards strengthening and improving funds processing and release for malaria activities in the state.
“It is of great importance to us as a people mouthpiece to avail this sitting audience to be abreast of various issues affecting malaria programming in Oyo State so as to propose possible solutions to achieve communities free from malaria in Oyo State”, he added.
In her presentation, Oyo State Coordinator, PMI-S, Dr Oluwayemisi Ayandipo stated that Oyo State needs to take ownership and also support malaria elimination efforts by ensuring the release of funds, given that international partners will not be helping the state’s malaria programming forever.
While noting that Oyo State was important to the elimination of malaria in Nigeria, Mr Salifu Peter of the Nigeria Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA), declared that Nigeria accounts for over 30 per cent of malaria’s global burden and cases of malaria in Oyo State were on the rise.
He stated that in stopping the malaria scourge, the state needs a law to fight the disease and a separate budget line for funding malaria interventions to ensure a reduction in the state’s malaria burden.
While praising the state government for the renovation of primary healthcare centres across the state, State Coordinator USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Mrs Toyin Afachang urged for recruitment of health workers to man the centre and for individuals to always have malaria tests before taking antimalarial medications.