..As Nigeria leads in global malaria cases, deaths -2020 report
By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Diversion of Free Malaria Commodities in the Primary Health Care Centres and other public health facilities has continue to dominate discussions in various Malaria commodity-led media brief organized by Civil Society in Malaria Control, immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), and other health related forum in the northern states.
In Kaduna, the situation has grew worse as the Global Support Funds free Malaria Commodity which supposed to be free for fighting malaria are reportedly being sold to malaria patients in health facilities across the State.
Speaking to Journalists at the Media brief for the State Media Meeting on the Global Fund Malaria Commodity-led Monitoring Project, being implemented by ACOMIN in kaduna on Wednesday, the State Program Officer Mr Ogidi Nicodemus said prior before the coming of ACOMIN on the project, malaria Commodity
have been going to all the public health facilities in kaduna State and 13 other States.
He however noted that “the coming of ACOMIN enlightened the community understand to know that there are available of free malaria commodity supported by global fund in their communities.
He said “Before, the people don’t know that there are free malaria Commodity. They go to some facilities and this commodity will be sold to them even though is free of charge.
“ACOMIN took it upon itself to engaged the communities in our day to day activities and made them to know that there’s free malaria Commodity in their locality.
“All you need to do is visit your facilities, a test will be conducted on you, and if the results is out positively, malaria commodity will be given to you free of charge.
“So, the coming of ACOMIN has strengthen the awareness creation across board in the eight LGAs where we’re working in kaduna and other states where we’re also working as well”, he said
According to him, test Kits for malaria, ACT and long lasting insecticide treated nets, (mosquito nets) amongst other Commodity are available in PHCs.
“The Commodities are a available across all government public health facilities, except few of this PHCs delisted few months ago for not meeting up with global fund (GF) target. GF has target.
“That’s why we’re also on our own continue pushing community and facilities to meet up this target interms of structure. The state malaria elimination program (SMEP) know those facilities involved in selling the GF supported fund Commodities.
“We want to see someone being used as scapegoat or one or two are punished, it’ll not stop. As civil society organization, we’ve informed the state malaria elimination program, so it’s left for them to investigate and know those involved”, he lamented.
On whether PHC still perpetrated the act hitetho, the state program Officer said “That’s why ACOMIN is still in the state remaining and pushing to ensure the right things are done in purnishing the erring people and the whole thing will stopped.
The program officer’s position was colloborated by representives of other partners including Malaria Consultium Global Fund who attended the ACOMIN media brief.
Earlier in his brief, Mr Ogidi Nechodemus stated that malaria still remained the major public health challenge in Nigeria, adding that going by the 2020 world malaria reports, Nigeria has the highest number of global malaria cases and accounted for the highest number of deaths.
He said as part national efforts to address the challenges of Malaria in Nigeria ACOMIN has been reengaged by Catholic Relief Service, CRS, under the ongoing GF malaria Grant to continue implementing the civil society component, having successfully done it from 2019 to 2020.
Mr Necodemus said the grant is presently being implemented in 13 GF supported states of kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Osun and others, while in kaduna the selected LGAs includes kaduna South, Giwa, S/Gari, lkara, kudan, Jemaa, Kaura and Jaba respectively.
Man power, poor equipments and lack of state budget line for local Government malaria fighting and elimination also top the discussions during the forum held at Access Hotel Annex Kaduna south.