From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
Commissioner of Health in Plateau State, Dr Nimkong Ndam Lar, has said malaria killed 121 persons in the out gone year 2020.
The health commissioner made the disclosure at the recent ceremony to mark World Malaria Day 2021.
“In the year under review, data from Plateau state IDSR shows that 820 out of 1136 health facilities reported total uncomplicated malaria figures of 259,921, 13,455 total severe malaria cases, 14,775 malaria infected pregnant women and 121 deaths caused by malaria”.
Dr Lar, however, said the 2020 figures when compared to the ones records in the state five years ago show a decline in the effects of malaria in our state.
“The strategies put in place under the able administration of Governor Simon Lalong and together with the commitment and relentless efforts of Health care service providers made this remarkable achievement possible. This steady success has been down mostly to the efforts of the Governor of Plateau state, his cabinet as well as the hardworking health workers of the state, all of whom have been playing their part in ensuring that malaria is totally eradicated in the near future, keeping to the slogan ‘Stand up-Take action’.”
Dr Lar further said Plateau State government fought COVID-19 pandemic, equally spent over 332 million naira on Malaria in the same 2020. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected our state, country and the world at large, there has been a serious scarcity of funds from which government can carry out its activities
“The pandemic has also caused a strain in the number of active healthcare workers in the state, as they formed a bulk of the frontline force in the heat of the pandemic. Needless to say, the challenges facing government at this time are bigger than ever. However, in order to ensure quality Health care service delivery in the state, government is providing the enabling environment for development and implementing partners to come in,” he stated.
He commended the implementing partners in the state especially Breakthrough Action Nigeria amongst others who have become valuable allies in the fight against malaria in the, Adding that they have brought much needed support to the state in the form of technical assistance as well as commodities without which the work of eradicating malaria will suffer.
“In the year 2020 alone, Plateau state received 54,830 Artemisinin based Combination Therapy (ACT) anti-malarial at the cost of 205,281,280 Naira. The state also got 23,913 Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits valued at 107,608,500 Naira as well as 6,358 Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine packs for pregnant women, costing exactly 20,025,979 naira. All these commodities put together amount to a total cost of 332,915,760 Naira,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has carried out a programme/project audit oversight visit to Benue State on National Social Investment Programmes which comprises N-power, Conditional Cash Transfer, Home Grown School Feeding, National Social Safety Net, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
Other areas of focus of their visit are: Universal Basic Education (UBEC) intervention Projects through State Universal Education Board (SUBEB); Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Projects; Transmission Company Nigeria (TCN) Projects and Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) Intervention Projects in Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi; Benue State University, Makurdi; Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo; College of Education, Katsina-Ala and College of Education, Oju
The Zonal Coordinator, House Committee on Public Accounts project audit, Usman Hassan Sokodabo stated that the hearing was necessitated by a query from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation. He disclosed that the import of the hearing was not to witch hunt anybody but to ensure that government resources are judiciously utilized.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria, led by Engr Ibrahim Adamu was queried for making 80% payment for a project that is in 40% state and for terminating a contract and awarding same to themselves. Sokodabo described them as the kind of people who sabotage government efforts and charged them to take responsibility for anything that has been entrusted to them.
Benue State University was advised to always adhere to the provisions of the procurement law whenever contractors are to be selected to execute projects.
The committee is expected to continue with the hearing and visit to some of the project sites.