Tunde Bolaji – , Minna
Niger State Government funding of malaria not enough it should increase funding and interventions if it must attain improved service delivery across all Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in the state.
This was observations of the State Coordinator, Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition ( ACOMIN), Mr. Olasunkanmi Kalejaiye who lamented that carrying out malaria interventions amidst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic presents several challenges.
He said it has had effect on accessing malaria services, adding that “the people are afraid of being suspected to have COVID-19 if they presented symptoms of malaria.”
According to him , inadequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers particularly at PHCs have left them exposed and as such they may not be able to provide optimal service as required.
He declared “we are calling on Governments 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.
“Government should provide sufficient beddings and mattresses. Our challenges are non allocation of resources and specific budgets for malaria interventions. Inadequate human resources; dilapidating and abandonment of health facilities.
He also said low health seeking behavior on the part of the community members is worrisome, as such some people still do not believe the Coronavirus exist and so, they disregard COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Kalejaiye therefore called on the people to abide by the guidelines put in place to further reduce community infection by using face mask and practicing social distancing.