WHO: Nigeria and other African countries need $2.4B to stop malaria

The World Health Organization released a report this week warning Nigeria and other African countries in which malaria is endemic will require approximately $2.4 billion to stop the disease from spreading.

According to the report, which was presented at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, stopping the deadly disease from spreading would save Africa approximately $630 billion each year. Countries with representatives at the forum included Tanzania, Kenya, Swaziland, South Sudan, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, This Day reports.

"The global long-lasting insecticide nets field is now at a vital turning point, facing both funding shortfalls and growing resistance patterns," Joy Phumaphi, the executive secretary of African Leaders Malaria Alliance, said, according to This Day. "Based on the current net life cycle, an estimated 560 million nets will be needed at the cost of $2.4 billion through 2015 to maintain universal coverage in malaria control."

Chioma Amajoh, the director of the National Malaria and Vector Control Program, said that while Nigeria is short approximately 3.5 million anti-mosquito nets, the country is in top gear to eradicate the mosquito-borne illness.

"We need to sustain the fight against malaria, we need local transfers of the technology, it will save cost and it will save time, now, Tanzania manufacture, Nigeria has the company, but we need to improve," Amajoh said, according to This Day. "Another lesson here is value for money, can we do it locally? In West Africa, we can pull our commodity together; we are looking at (non-biodegradable) nets and other best practices."

ALMA hopes to bridge the funding gap by working in conjunction with the Results for Development Institute, Gates Foundation, World Bank, WHO and African Union.