The national response to COVID-19 pandemic showed what is possible when the private sector and public-spirited individuals rally behind a healthcare crises. Nigeria is experiencing a major much larger healthcare crisis from malaria, which kills more than 135,000 Nigerians, mostly children, yearly, and this requires collaborative public sector and large scale private sector intervention.
A key intervention that will reduce deaths significantly as we work towards the elimination of this long term healthcare crisis is a Nigeria Emergency Malaria Test and Treat (NEMATT), plan that delivers scaled testing and treatment in Nigeria.
In that regard, the Nigeria and Entrepreneurship: Summit & Honors (NESH) Foundation and the Women Are Beautiful Inside and Out (WABIO) Foundation in a joint press release stated that Nigeria needs a NEMATT plan on Malaria in partnership with the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), and in collaboration with Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), and the States’ Primary Health Care Development Agencies, flagged off a nationwide Test and Treat Malaria Outreach Programme.
Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju and Mrs. Ebele Enemchukwu, founders of NESH and WABIO respectively said the Test & Treat Malaria Charity Outreach Program would be supported by Corporate Nigeria, Parastatals, Agencies, public-spirited Nigerians, and will deliver simple and convenient NAFDAC-approved, Do-it-Yourself Urine Malaria Test (UMT) kits and anti-malaria ACT medicines for free to rural and urban poor Nigerians nationwide, who are now experiencing rising cases and deaths from malaria.
The program is planned to last for 90 days for the first stage, with the support of some organisations like Nigeria LNG, NNPC/Total & Partners, IBRU Group, Stanbic-IBTC Bank, Airtel Nigeria, United Nigeria Airline, Cutix Plc and many more Corporations and public-spirited individuals and CACOVID.
“Let us use this opportunity to acknowledge the exemplary past efforts of the following companies in the fight against malaria: Nigeria NLNG, Total E & P, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Exxon Mobil Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and Chevron Nigeria.
“During the last weekend in November for the next 5 years, NESH and ALGON will be celebrating our primary healthcare support partners, and during the occasion, we would be recognizing our Malaria Champions for the year.
“We call on the Governments (Federal/State/Local) to make an even larger investment than it did for COVID-19 control, and to urgently facilitate the private sector effort toward the NEMATT plan. To eliminate Malaria in Nigeria before 2030, is a task that must be done with all of us working together”, the duo expressed.