Dr Perpetua Uhumoibhi, the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), has warned healthcare practitioners to take cognisance of the dangers posed by malaria and its transmission agents, mosquitoes.
Uhumoibhi gave the warning at a webinar organised by the Management Sciences for Health (MSH), an American-based health advisory organisation, to mark the 2023 World Malaria Day.
She said about 11.7 million deaths had been averted due to concerted efforts by global partners to end malaria in the world.
Uhumoibhi, however, said that the new challenges if not checked would threaten the progress recorded in the fight against malaria.
She said lack of integration of health services in both primary care and community levels in some countries could pose new challenge for the world in the fight against malaria.
“It is important that countries set up resilient health system to tackle malaria.
”One way to build a resilient health system is to carry out integration of all health services in primary care level and in the community level.
“Nigeria was able to reach out to about 23 million children with malaria preventive services in spite of the challenges of the COVID-19 in 2020 because of effective system,” she said.
Also speaking, Dr Corine Ngufor, co-chair, Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group, highlighted one of the threats to malaria elimination to resistance built by mosquitoes against insecticides.
Ngufor urged Nigerians and other countries of the world to build resilience against the threats and forge a common front against malaria.
She identified new malaria vectors as another threat to the fight against malaria.
Ngufor said vectors survive high temperatures which could lead to high malaria case.
Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu, a malaria technical expert at MSH, stressed the need for systems that could respond quickly to unanticipated shocks in the healthcare system.
“We need new drugs, new diagnostic methods, new outdoor and indoor residual control of mosquitoes and the use of technology to train health workers virtually to provide quick response when needed,” Mokuolu said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the webinar ended with recommendations that countries require strong health systems, effective vector control strategies and for health workers on ground in communities for successful malaria control to be achieved. (NAN)