The Katsina State government says it is working with the State House of Assembly to establish a Malaria Control Agency in the state soon.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari disclosed this in Katsina at the inauguration of the State Malaria Elimination Sustainability Committee upon conclusion of the SuNMaP 2 project in the state.
The 28-member committee is being chaired by the State Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Yakubu Danja with business mogul, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, in the stewardship sub-committee.
Members of the committee are drawn from the state Ministry of Health, state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, private healthcare providers, the media, Civil Society, and the business community.
While urging members of the committee to sustain the achievements of the UK aid-funded SuNMaP 2 scheme in eradicating malaria, Governor Masari said the state government is committed to upgrading the malaria unit at the state Ministry of Health to a full-fledged agency.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Higher Education, Dr. Bishir Usman Ruwangodiya, Masari said “I assure you that the state government has the political will to create a Malaria Control Agency, as plans have reached an advanced stage to make it a reality.”
“The health sector is one of the priorities of this administration and this can be clearly seen from the significant budgetary allocations and timely release of funds to improve healthcare services and combat epidemics and diseases such as malaria.
“However, unlike seasonal infections such as measles and cholera, malaria is an all-year-round disease which has a high mortality rate especially among infants and pregnant women.
“This is why the government saw the need to accord it exclusive attention through the establishment of an agency.
“The state House of Assembly has also assured the executive arm that it is ready to provide the necessary legislative backing for the agency and to subsequently support it with required budgetary provisions.
“This is why the Chairman, Appropriation Committee of the House, is among the members of the just-inaugurated sustainability committee for the Elimination of Malaria in the state.
“This is an exhibition of commitment that the executive arm is ready to partner the legislature and the civil society as well as the media which all have representatives in the committee, to ensure that the gains of the SunlNMaP 2 project are consolidated particularly through the establishment of the agency.”
The governor’s representative said “I was at the special interaction which the governor held with the entire team of the National Malaria Consortium at the beginning of the SuNMaP 2 project, and at that meeting, the governor confirmed to the team that the state government will ensure that the malaria control agency comes on board.”
Earlier while inaugurating the State Malaria Elimination Sustainability Committee, the Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Yakubu Danja who was represented by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Dr. Kabir Mustafa, tasked members of the committee to be ready to attend periodic meetings to develop action plans and implementation strategies, and to make advocacy visits to relevant MDAs or development partners towards achieving results.
Meanwhile, the Malaria Elimination Programme Manager at the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Bashir Adamu, had disclosed at the meeting that the sum of N240 million has been budgetted for the eradication of malaria in the current fiscal year while the agency has provided specialized training for 272 Healthcare personnel across the state to treat malaria patients.
Isma’il Adamu, Katsina