The World Health Organisation (WHO) has enjoined Nigeria and other member countries to scale up efforts against malaria.
The organisation said the countries must accelerate the pace of progress if they are to achieve a 40% drop in global malaria cases and deaths by 2020, compared to 2015 levels.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, made the call in her statement read by the Officer-in-Charge, WHO Nigeria office, Dr Clement Peter to mark this year's World Malaria Day.
She urged member states to allocate adequate resources and to work across sectors and strengthen cross-border collaboration. "With the required resources, strong coordination and dedicated partners, we can accelerate our actions to achieve a malaria-free Africa - transforming a common vision to end malaria for good into a shared reality for a healthier and more prosperous Africa," she said.
The theme for this year's commemoration of World Malaria Day is "Zero Malaria Starts with me." She said the theme stresses the need to empower individuals across the world to make a personal commitment to saving more lives, and to help communities and economies to thrive by eliminating malaria.
Empowering individuals and communities and engaging them to adopt and deploy simple and cost-effective interventions is key in filling existing implementation gaps, she said.
"We need to accelerate progress as there are significant gaps in the implementation of measures to prevent malaria, and stagnating international and domestic funding for malaria prevention and control. We therefore call for renewed political commitment to eliminate malaria and for increased investments on malaria prevention and control and urge governments to mobilize all necessary internal and external resources, and ensure intersectoral and cross-border collaboration," she said.
She added: To respond to the challenge of rising cases in high-burden countries and reverse these trends, a 'high burden to high impact' (HBHI) country-led approach was launched in November 2018 to galvanize political will nationally and globally to reduce malaria deaths among others.