Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has called for increased and deliberate funding for malaria interventions by states and local governments towards eradicating the scourge in Nigeria. The group also stressed the urgent need to recruit adequate staff to man primary healthcare centres across the country and procure necessary drugs at such facilities. The Ogun State Coordinator of ACOMIN, Mrs Ibironke Olatunji, made the call at a media advocacy meeting held in Abeokuta, the state capital. Olatunji, who was flanked by secretary of the non-governmental organisation, Akinpelu Akintayo, said malaria remained a global public health challenge that requires concerted efforts to fight.
She disclosed that 15 community based organisations were currently involved in the malaria control project in the state being implemented in five local government areas, including Odeda, Abeokuta South, Ewekoro, Yewa South and Imeko-Afon. The coordinator noted that the prevailing challenge was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic which, according to her, had prevented community health volunteers from carrying out malaria interventions. She said, “Carrying out malaria intervention amidst the coronavirus pandemic presents several challenges which include but are not limited to restriction of movement, preventing community health volunteers from carrying out malaria interventions. “There is also inadequate provision of PPEs for health workers particularly at PHCs, leaving health workers exposed and as such they might not be able to provide optimal service as required by the clients.
“In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had an affect on accessing malaria services in health facilities as the people are afraid of being suspected to have COVID-19 if they presented symptoms of malaria at the facilities. “Many community members have a notion that since people who are sick visit the health facilities, the facility staff will most likely have come in contact with COVID-19 cases and as such, they see the facilities as places where COVID-19 infection could happen. As a result of these, they avoid visiting the facilities.”