CSOs task Niger govt to increase funding to check malaria

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Niger state government has been urged to increase funding for malaria interventions, if it must attain improved service delivery across all Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs).

The State Coordinator, Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), Kalejaiye Olasunkanmi, said available statistics showed that malaria parasite had become one of the deadliest disease, especially in rural areas where quality and affordable health facilities rarely exist.

Olasunkanmi expressed concern that the situation was made worst as people were afraid of going to hospitals or PHCs to avoid being suspected of suffering from COVID-19 when they present symptoms of malaria”.

Olasunkanmi while briefing journalists on the challenges, especially among rural dwellers in the state,said carrying out malaria interventions amidst the Corona Virus pandemic presents several challenges that required urgent intervention by the state government.

Inadequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers particularly at PHCs has left many of the workers in fears, hence unable to provide optimal services as required to patients, he further explained.

“We are calling on government at all levels to increase funding for malaria interventions; improve and upgrade health facilities across the State. Purchase and distribute adequate Medical equipment to Health Facilities.”

He further advised government to provide sufficient beddings and mattresses, adding, “our challenges are non allocation of resources and specific budgets for malaria interventions, inadequate human resources; dilapidating and abandonment of health facilities.”

Meanwhile, journalists covering the health sector in Niger state have lamented that they were facing challenges from government agents on one hand and the general public on the other hand in the course of carrying out their reportorial duties.

Some of the journalists, during interactive session, recalled how they were often being threatened by state government agents for exposing the level of dilapidation in the sector.

They also claimed that the general public see them as partnering with the state government by refusing to report facts about the level of dilapidation in the health sector.

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