kebbi bayelsa
Kebbi and Bayelsa State will be receiving the malaria vaccine this year.

Kebbi, Bayelsa To Receive Malaria Vaccines

Nigeria will begin the distribution of malaria vaccines in Kebbi and Bayelsa States this year as part of efforts to reduce the prevalence of the disease to 10 per cent by 2025.

Speaking at a media chat organised by the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) in Abuja, on Tuesday, the National Coordinator of the Programme, Dr Godwin Ntadom, said this is part of a renewed effort to eradicate the malaria scourge in the country.

He said the target could be achieved through hard work by the government and with the support of the media and other partners.

“We are working hard to achieve the set target of reducing malaria by 10 per cent prevalence by 2025. Not only that we have worked so hard to reduce malaria prevalence to a point where it will no longer be a public health challenge. Some countries like Cape Verde have recently achieved this and Nigeria can achieve this also,” he added.

The Coordinator said although the government was yet to conclude a report on malaria cases in 2023, there was every indication that malaria prevalence was declining, going by the previous year’s report.

He also said the government is implementing intervention programmes to curtail the malaria scourge in the country, noting that the government has deployed new strategies including the provision of anti-malaria medicines.

“We distribute nets and we have started seasonal malaria chemo-preventive treatment, especially in the northern part of the country where malaria prevalence is high and we have received a very good commendation.

“I must tell you that the mortality in that region has reduced as a result of the interventions,” he said.

The Coordinator said that malaria cases normally increase during the rainy season, adding that the ministry was intensifying the intervention programmes to halt malaria incidence.

He said the ministry was also distributing malaria nets in other parts of the country.

“We are ensuring that children who are vulnerable segments of the society get adequate preventive treatment. In the same vein, we also provide preventive treatment for pregnant women,” he added.

Dr Ntadom further disclosed that the Ministry of Health was planning to introduce preventive treatment among school children on a pilot basis.

Speaking on the high cost of malaria drugs, he said most of the drugs were imported, adding that given the exchange rate variations the increase in prices was expected and urged that Nigerians consider malaria drugs which were cheaper in government hospitals.