By Aniwura Omolayo
According to latest estimates, released in December 2013 by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 207 million cases of malaria in 2012, with an uncertainty range of 135 million to 287 million and an estimated 627?000 deaths, with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000. These figures were revealed by healthcare company in Nigeria, Sanofi, when it restated commitment to the fight against malaria, during a press conference held in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, on 24th?April, to commemorate this year?s World Malaria Day.
The Conference, under this year?s theme ?Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria? and attended by officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, focused on impact of Malaria especially on children, its prevalence in Africa and?initiatives being implemented by the healthcare company to raise awareness and prevention in communities.
Sanofi noted that according to latest estimates, released in December 2013 by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 207 million cases of malaria in 2012, with an uncertainty range of 135 million to 287 million and an estimated 627?000 deaths, with an uncertainty range of 473 000 to 789 000.
Speaking at the Conference, Medical and Regulatory Affairs Director, Sanofi, Dr. Fifen Inoussa, shared Sanofi?s experience in Africa since establishing its presence over 50 years ago. ?Africa is a diversified, multicultural and colourful continent. We believe it is the future of the world and because malaria is most prevalent in Africa than other continents, we have made malaria one of our major concerns. This is why Sanofi has been strengthening its production facilities and improving on drugs manufactured and most importantly, creating initiatives, such as the ?Impact Malaria? launched in 2001, that enable us contribute to the prevention of the disease in as many communities as possible,? he said.
Product Manager, Malaria Portfolio at Sanofi, Ms. Estelle Dogbo who was also at the Conference, said 50% of the global population is exposed to malaria and more than 200 million malaria attacks have been recorded. ?There have been 660, 000 deaths reported around the world and 90% of these deaths were in Africa. Recent data released by the World Health Organisation, WHO, showed that in 2013, an African child dies of malaria every minute in Africa. So, Africa is still the continent with the highest transmission rate. At Sanofi, in our fight against malaria, we consistently work at raising awareness of the disease among families and children.?Children are always the first to be impacted by malaria, and they are also tomorrow?s adults.Therefore, training them is essential to change behaviours and win the battle against this disease,? she emphasized.
Also present at the Conference and representing the State Health Commissioner, the Senior Medical Officer I and Malaria Program Officer at the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Victoria Omoera, said in order to reduce the disease burden associated with malaria, it was important that citizens in the State were equipped with the right information to enable them take appropriate actions as regards malaria control.