Governor Samuel Ortom has pledged the support and cooperation of his administration to United States President’s Malaria Initiative, PMI, aimed at eliminating the disease from Nigeria and the entire African region.
The Governor gave the assurance today at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House Makurdi during a courtesy visit on him by Mr. Timothy Obot, representative of the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Program and his team.
He stated that malaria remains a killer disease that requires collective efforts to combat, stressing that it could be eliminated completely from Nigeria because other countries had succeeded in doing so.
Governor Ortom accepted to take ownership of the impending distribution of 3,600.000 Long Lasting Insecticides Nets, LLINs in the state worth over N2.5 billion, pointing out that storage facilities and security for the nets at all levels as well as other logistics would be provided.
He stated that flag-off, intensive sensitization to the public and support to council chairmen among others would also be sustained to ensure effective distribution of the LLINs in the state.
Mr. Timothy Obot had earlier stated that due to concerted efforts of governments at all levels and donor agencies such as PMI, many lives had been saved in Nigeria, stressing that distribution of LLINs had increased from 42 percent in 2015 to 65 per cent in 2018 in Benue State.
According to him, through concerted efforts too, the prevalence rate of Malaria in the state had also decreased from 45 percent in 2015 to 13 percent in 2018 due to reduction in contact with mosquitoes.
He stated that in order to completely eliminate the killer disease, 3,600,000 LLINs had been procured for distribution in the state, adding that adequate storage facilities, security, flagoff of distribution at the state and local government levels and sensitization campaigns as well as other logistics were needed to ensure the success of the program.
Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Sunday Ongbabo stated that malaria remains the number one killer disease in the world and any efforts aimed at eradicating it would not be too much, adding that Benue was fully prepared to support the fight.