Indications emerged yesterday at the ongoing World Health Assembly holding in Geneva, Switzerland that Nigeria and other African endemic countries need about $2.4 billion to stop the spread of malaria disease.
The report also stated that putting a stop to malaria transmission would help Africa free up resources for other developmental purposes, saving close to $630 billion annually.
Speaking at a round table meeting, Executive Secretary of African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Joy Phumaphi, said robust investment in the production of anti-mosquito nets and ART would help in addressing funding gap and as well save cost for valued added projects in the continent.
"The global long-lasting insecticide nets (LLIN) field is now at a vital turning point, facing both funding shortfalls and growing resistance patterns. Based on the current net life cycle, an estimated 560 million nets will be needed at the cost of $2.4 billion through 2015 to maintain universal coverage in malaria control," she said.
Phumaphi explained that "given donors constraint, there is currently an estimated 40 per cent shortfall between projected funding and need through 2014, it is imperative to maintain universal coverage gains in order to prevent epidemics and upsurges from occurring if previously protected individuals are left unprotected."
While presenting Nigeria's case in the fight against malaria at the forum, Director, National Malaria and Vector Control Programme, Chioma Amajoh added that though Nigeria was in short of about 3.5 million anti-mosquitoes nets, efforts were on top gear to completely eradicate malaria.
"We need to sustain the fight against malaria, we need local transfers of the technology, it will save cost and it will save time, now, Tanzania manufacture, Nigeria has the company, but we need to improve. A another lesson here is value for money, can we do it locally? In West Africa, we can pull our commodity together; we are looking at non-biodegrable nets and other best practices," Amajoh stated.
The director observed that Nigeria within the shortest time, will expedite action in ensuring that the remaining states with much gap in terms of LLIN will be attended to base on a workable framework that is cost-effective.
ALMA working in conjunction with the African Union, WHO, World Bank, the Gates Foundation and Results for Development Institute seeks to bridge funding gap through increasing domestic financial commitments, implementing value for money and also create a new paradigm-shift that will help in reducing the burden of malaria-related deaths in Africa.
Countries represented at the forum include Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Kenya and Tanzania which has the best universal coverage in terms of malaria control.