BY ADEBIYI ADEDAPO and HENRY TYOHEMBA, Abuja |
Politician and philanthropist, Prince Ned Nwoko, has tasked Nigerian leaders to put in more efforts in order to discover a vaccine to tackle the deadly scourge of malaria, which he described as ‘African pandemic’.
Nwoko, who is the founder of Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation, made the call on Saturday while leading a Malaria Eradication Awareness Walk in Abuja to commemorate the World Malaria Day slated for April 25.
“Malaria is our own pandemic. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) records. Malaria kills over 500,000 lives every year. This is huge, this is more than COVID-19 but our leaders don’t do anything simply because they have accepted that malaria is part of us.
“We must not continue this way, malaria is not part of us, mosquitoes are not part of us, we must get rid of both of them starting with today’s walk. We have been doing a lot,” Nwoko said.
He further said his Foundation was also focusing on other critical areas such as waste management and fumigation in order to control the disease.
“We must manage waste across the country and in managing waste, what we must do is to build a recycling plant in every local government area of the country, this in addition will create not less than five million jobs in three years.
“So, the next point of what we are focusing on is vaccine research. Again thanks to COVID, that now people are focusing on vaccines. You can see within one year of COVID, western countries, America, Britain, Russia, China have been able to discover vaccines because coronavirus is their biggest problem, they focus on it, they invested in it and they have been able to find safe vaccines. We are also focusing on researching in vaccines for malaria.
“We are doing that with some professors, we are doing that with some companies in America and UK and I’m sure that in the next six months we are going to hear more about vaccines for malaria. That is a longer term of the process, the shorter term will be the waste management and then fumigation.
“Fumigation must take place across the country but there must be a lockdown from North to East to West to South of Nigeria for this to happen. I’m not talking about just the mere fumigation, I’m talking about fumigation that will be done in every household, in every office and every street,” Nwoko added.