Non-Governmental Organisations under the aegis of ATM Networks (Nephwhan, Acomin,Tb Networks) have called on government at all levels in Nigeria to double efforts in eradicating malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in the country.
Penpushing reports that the groups working with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) made the appeal on Monday at a press conference held in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital, lamenting that Nigeria ranks highest with numbers of people affected by malaria
The Programme Officer, ATM Network, Tayo Akinpelu while speaking emphasized that efforts to reduce the prevalence must be multi-sectoral, explaining that as part of effort to eradicate the spread, the National Health Insurance program enjoyed by the formal sector should be extended to other citizens of Nigeria, particularly the poor and most vulnerable.
“The poor often are less educated and unemployed and consequently lack the ability to pay out-of-pocket for high costs associated with frequent illnesses. Funding and finances for primary health delivery should be carefully mapped out and sanctioned against any misappropriation or mismanagement; to enable a robust public health program at all ward levels in the local government’, he said.
‘Communication and education programs can raise knowledge and awareness and, in turn, improve testing and care-seeking. There is a great need to educate, engage, and empower the communities to embrace any behavior change relevant to achieving success in malaria, HIV, and TB control in Nigeria’, he added.
“Every ward should commit to health promotion and education programs to increase awareness of prevention measures; and promote community participation and adherence to evidence-based strategies’, Akinpelu stated.
“Commit adequate resources through advocacy and partnerships, for the full and effective implementation of all planned interventions, including through involvement of the private sector, and community participatory approaches’, he said.
“Community members should actively support and advocate for their local Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs). Community involvement is crucial in ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of these centers.
“Additionally, community support can manifest through volunteering, donating resources, or participating in advocacy efforts to secure increased funding and resources for PHCs. Ogun state government should expedite the quick implementation of PHC under one roof to improve coordination and management of primary health care services at the grass root”, he added
Penpushing further reports that Ogun state Chairperson, ACOMIN, Olufunmilayo Olatunji speaking earlier decried the high cost of treatments for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis at Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the country.
The Chairperson noted that the high cost was as a result of hidden charges and inadequate staff discipline which had posed a significant barrier to access and adherence, particularly for vulnerable populations.
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