THE University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Malaria Research Centre, sponsored by Olugbenga Mokuolu, to help postgraduate and M. Sc. researchers conducting researches on malaria and other tropical diseases has been commissioned.
Mokuolu, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin. While delivering his speech on the topic, “End Malaria for Good”, at the Maiden Edition of the Olugbenga Mokuolu Annual Lecture on Malaria, tagged “WMD 2017”
University Medical Students Association (ILUMSA), called for strong political will at all levels of governance to effectively fight the scourge of the killer disease – malaria.
The podiatrist, who is also the Director, Consultancy Services Centre, University of Ilorin, said that malaria can end when we all remain committed, stressing that though the current tools used are effective, but there is need to close the gaps in coverage of key interventions.
The interventions according to him include the new tools needed to further accelerate current gains, adding that, “though about 50% reduction have been achieved in last 10-15 years for malaria to be eliminated, it has to be sustained, highly integrated and coordinated strategically.”
The Director, Centre for Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases Care also stressed the need to access and close the gaps in key interventions, which include diagnosis, artemisinin resistance solution, insecticide resistance solution and environmental manipulation, development such as roads, housing, and wealth creation.
“There must also be improved Surveillance, New solutions – Vaccines, Sustain Funding, Partnerships, Innovative SBCC (domestication of approaches) and Political Will at all levels of Governance”, he said.
Recounting the challenges faced, he noted that to fight and sustain the malaria scourge, there must be resistance to the artemisinin family of drugs, wide availability of substandard and counterfeit malaria treatments, and resistance to key insecticides, inadequate disease surveillance systems, waning country and donor attention as malaria burden drops and environmental Degradation.
While arguing that where there is a will, there is a way, he lamented that government allocates resource deliberately towards what they want to achieve, just as he mentioned the rise and demise of Ebola Virus Diseases as a classical example of strong political will.
Makuolu, further explained that as soon as government made Ebola priority, the virus could not last as we have in the case of malaria. He therefore appealed to the media practitioners to help with the sensitization of the public towards their various responsibilities, saying that in the fight against malaria, everybody is a stakeholder.
Earlier, the ILUMSA President, Salifu Wesley said that the lecture was organized to mark the world malaria day and to also been source of pride, especially among ILUMSITES that the college and the University at large boasts of the services of one of Africa’s leading experts on malaria in person of Mokuolu.
Salifu said that with such program the UITH efforts long fight against malaria will be further strengthened and hope with such effort in place the goal to completely wipe out malaria from Africa will be.