Political will greatest threat to war against malaria in Nigeria - Varsity don

Political will greatest threat to war against malaria in Nigeria – Varsity don

A lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Prof. Dennis Aribodor has identified lack of political will as greatest challenge confronting the fight against malaria in Nigeria.

Aribodo also listed lack of leadership, funding, over-dependence on foreign partners, terrorism, global warming and climate change, drug and insecticidal resistance as other factors militating against the disease control.

Delivering the 78th Inaugural Lecture of the University, themed, “Malaria Story and Challenges to Malaria Elimination in Nigeria”, Aribodor, a professor of Public Health Parasitology, regretted that malaria had continued to cripple nation’s economic development.

He said malaria had also contributed to continued marginalization of those living in malarious areas, undermines health and welfare of families, endangers survival and education of children, as well as debilitates active population.

He said, “Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite of the Plasmodium family, and it’s one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most common poverty-related diseases, and one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young children in the region.

“Lack of political will to confront malaria problem in Nigeria is considered the greatest challenge towards achieving malaria elimination in the country.

“For the disease to be eliminated in Nigeria, political leaders must muster the political will and commit required resources, both human and material to achieve the goal.

“We have a situation where every donor (country and foreign organizations) are the ones dictating leadership in the battle against malaria. Even our data are sometimes generated by foreign organizations because they fund it.”

While calling for concerted effort of stakeholders to have a malaria-free nation like Algeria, Aribodo, immediate past chairperson of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the institution urged government at all levels and organized private sector to allocate more resources to intensify the fight against the disease.

Political will greatest threat to war against malaria in Nigeria - Varsity don 1

Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Charles Esimone, represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Fredrick Odibo said the university had continued to organize inuaguaral lecture series in view of its impact on the university community and society at large.

He said the lecture offered professors opportunity to showcase their knowledge and intellectual prowess in their respective fields, expressing confidence that the lecturer through the theme would educate and empower his audience on causes, effects and solutions to scourge.

House of Representatives Member-Elect for Awka North and South Federal Constituency, Prof. Oby Orogbu, regretted that millions of deaths were still linked to the disease, commending the lecturer for doing justice to the theme which she described as apt and timely.

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