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Africa has largest diseases in the world, carries 80% of global malaria burden – World Bank



Khama Rogo, a World Bank Officer has observed that Africa has the largest burden of diseases in the world, and the lowest in accessible healthcare delivery to its citizenry.

Rogo who is the Lead Health Specialist in Africa, World Bank Group, made this observation when he led officials of World Bank and Pharm Access on a courtesy call on the Kwara State Governor,  Abdulfatah Ahmed at Government House, Ilorin, the state capital.

Rogo attributed the current state of health in Africa to inadequate finances compared to its rapidly growing population and poverty level.

The Health Specialist identified health financing as the most important intervention in the health sector anywhere in the world. He commended the Kwara State government for its plan to make the Community Health Insurance Scheme a state wide programme in line with the Universal Health Coverage.

Speaking further, Rogo expressed readiness of his group to support the state government in providing affordable and accessible healthcare delivery to the people of the state.

In his response, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed that the state would soon establish an agency to manage and finance its health insurance scheme on a sustainable platform. Saying, the agency will be supported with personnel to drive the concept of financing healthcare in the state.

Ahmed explained that the Community Health Insurance Scheme would draw support from private sector and create strong sense of trust in managing the scheme.

“One of the most critical issues of productivity is health, and it is imperative to deploy resources for improved productivity. As we begin 2018 budgetary process, special attention will be given to health sector to complement what is being done in the Community Health Insurance Scheme,” said Ahmed.

The Governor added that arrangements were in top gear to link the scheme with Kwara Resident Identification Card with a view to making the state plan adequately for health service delivery and make the state second to none in healthcare delivery in the country.

Meanwhile, The World Health Organization’s National Protection Officer for Malaria,  North West Zone, Nigeria, Jalal Saleh has said that Africa carries 80% of malaria burden in the world, with Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sharing a regrettable 40% of the burden.                                                                                                                        

Saleh, a Malaria Specialist, disclosed this on Tuesday in Ilorin, while speaking with Journalists.

According to him, 60% of out-patient visit and 30% of all hospital admitted patient in Nigeria and most African countries are induced by malaria.

The WHO malaria specialist described Malaria as a major burden in Africa, saying that it has claimed many lives over the years with 400,000 mortality deaths across the globe which also accounts for 30% of the cause of death in Children under 5 and 11% of maternal deaths.              

With this mind bugling revelation, the WHO representative said, a collective effort is required to eliminate malaria in Africa and especially Nigeria.

Saleh who gave detail account of  the roles of WHO in providing technical assistance to the countries and states with malaria prevalence in order to have a malaria free society, lauded the support of the organization towards the Free Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) Replacement campaign ongoing across 16 Local Government Areas in Kwara State which was sponsored by Global Fund in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS).     

He described the intervention as timely and expressed optimism that the use of LLINs will go a long way in eliminating malaria in the State, saying the LLINs preventive measure is the most cost effective because it can last for 3 years.                                                                               

Saleh while highlighting other methods of fighting malaria, which include the use of Indoor residual spray (IRS), Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTp), Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Infants (IPTi) and Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) usually done in the Sahel sub regions, said there has been an appreciable improvement and much has been done in terms of control of malaria as a disease globally.

He revealed that there has been about 62% drop in global malaria rate between 2000 and 2015, while in Nigeria; there has been a significant decline in the prevalence of malaria between 2010 -2015 from 42% to 27%. Saleh encouraged a 100 percent universal coverage of LLINs to prevent malaria for the global goal 3 which aimed at ending epidemics such as malaria to be achieved by 2030.

He advised that people should be tested for malaria with Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) or microscopy before taking anti-malaria drugs, just as he urged people to avoid keeping

stagnant water, clear bushes and gutters and keep their surroundings tidy, as doing these would prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Nigeria has 25 per cent of the world’s disease burden for malaria and reports more deaths due to this disease than any other country in the world. In Nigeria, malaria is responsible for the deaths of an estimated 300,000 children per year and contributes to over 4,000 maternal deaths annually. It is also the number one cause of absenteeism in Nigeria, resulting in loss in productivity at work and school.

Ninety-seven percent of Nigerians are at risk from malaria, with an estimated 50 percent of adults suffering at least one episode of the disease a year.  Malaria counts for 60 percent of out- patient visit and 30 percent of hospitalisations.

SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin

The post Africa has largest diseases in the world, carries 80% of global malaria burden – World Bank appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust.

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