On Thursday, the House of Representatives discussed the possibility of declaring a state of emergency on malaria, considering the widespread prevalence of this bacterial disease in the country.
During the inaugural meeting of the Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Control, chaired by Amobi Ogar, the House urged the Federal Government to either subsidize or provide free malaria drugs in all government-owned health centers to ensure accessibility for Nigerians.
Ogar emphasized that despite the high malaria infection rates, many Nigerians couldn’t afford the expensive drugs. Additionally, the committee pledged to take action against sub-standard and counterfeit malaria drugs by imposing appropriate sanctions on their producers.
He maintained that the committee would take a look at the operation and processes of the Global Fund in relation to intervention in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“I am concerned by the havoc malaria is wrecking on our populace and we are going to push and advocate that malaria drugs be subsidised, if not made free at all government health centres. It is no rocket science that most Nigerians are affected by malaria and yet, drugs are not readily available, while the ones available are very exorbitant.
“My vision is to see a Nigeria where malaria drugs will be given to our people free or subsidised.
“As you are all aware, the committee is saddled with the responsibility to formulate legislative measures for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, coordinating and harmonising activities of government and non-governmental agencies on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria generally to ensure the effectiveness of the efforts at HIV/AIDS and malaria control, remedy, and cure for AIDS patients.”