Malaria remains one of the most popular illnesses in Nigeria, young and old are conversant with. 

I have also had my fair share of struggling with the disease a few times but for the wonderful help of health care workers who come to the rescue. 

One thing that I have observed is how easy it is to come down with this condition several times a year. This inspired my research because indeed one must admit that the reduction in productivity in man-hours from being down with malaria is a cause for concern, especially as a representative of my people who is always on the move to bring more development back home.

I learned that Malaria isn’t a Nigerian problem alone, and globally 228 million cases were recorded in the last year, however, 95% of such cases were domiciled in the African sub-region. It is also a disease that claims so many lives annually, especially in under-five children.

So I am forced to ask, in this day and age, why should we lose a human being to a preventable and treatable illness. The answers are obvious, there is poor access to health care and overwhelming poverty in the land. Many cannot afford routine prevention, or even testing when they feel ill, others cannot afford to buy antimalarials or insecticides to regularly spray and kill mosquitoes at home. 

The African Regional Director for WHO, in his speech on the theme of the day, “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives” noted that it was more of a health challenge and involved a political component. 

Government and leaders at all levels must take responsibility to mitigate the challenge and put a premium on the lives of citizens. Advances have been made in the area of malaria prevention, how prepared are to ensure that it gets to the underserved areas. How equipped is the government to improve the economic conditions of families to enable them to afford basic health care. It is the job of the Government to fully equip and establish functional primary health care centers to provide essential drugs for a disease that is endemic and constitutes a high burden throughout the year.

Today, I reassure fellow residents in Cross River State of my commitment to the fight against malaria and to adopt global best practices and any resource available to reduce the scourge and save the lives of our people. 

God bless Cross River State.

God bless Nigeria.

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