Nigeria: Malaria Treatments, Services Suffer Set Back Amid COVID19 Outbreak
A recent survey by Global Funds indicates that malaria and few other key services are being seriously disrupted on account of countries’ and their health systems’ response to the pandemic.
The report highlighted several cancelled or delayed prevention activities. COVID-19 related stigma, Reluctance of health workers to attend to people suspected of having TB or malaria – which have many of the same initial symptoms as COVID-19 and patients not seeking health services as usual
The results according to the National coordinator, National Malaria elimination Programme’s (NMEP) Dr. Audu Bala Mohammed, highlighted several cancelled or delayed prevention activities.
The National coordinator stated this in Abuja at the National Malaria Elimination Programme’s 2020 First Media Chat.
Dr Mohammed who was represented at the event by Head ACSM Mr Chukwu Okoronkwo said Global Funds identified that activities are being canceled due to the Lockdowns,
According to him “Restrictions on gatherings of people, Transport stoppage and COVID-related stigma. Clients not seeking health services as usual”
“With the onset of the current COVID-19 pandemic the malaria challenge seems to be compounded.
He said ” Outcomes of a recent survey by Global Funds indicated that malaria and a few other key services are being seriously disrupted on account of countries’ and their health systems’ response to the pandemic.”
“Recent projections suggest that where most prevention activities are cancelled or delayed, and malaria services like insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines experience severe disruption the malaria deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa could double by the end of the year.”
He therefore called for an improvement in preventive measures which includes sleeping under ITNs, the use of screens on doors and windows, the uptake of IPTp by pregnant women and the use of preventive medicine for children below five years.