The President Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, has urged private investors to scale up their participation in health financing, saying the target to minimize global incidence of malaria and mortality rates could not be achieved by government and international donor agencies alone.
Ruwase who spoke at the chamber’s forum marking World Malaria Day also urged the government to implement strategies towards creating a conducive investment atmosphere for more private sector participation.
The programme was organised in collaboration with the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) and had in attendance the latest winners of the Nigeria Prize for Science.
“With $2.7 billion invested globally to fight malaria in 2016, this represents less than 41 per cent of the estimated $6.5 billion needed annually till 2020 in order to reach the 2030 global malaria targets. In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, five million more than the 211 million cases reported in 2015.
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Malaria deaths in Africa accounted for 407,000 cases out of the global number of 445,000 in 2016, according to WHO statistics,” he said.
Citing World Health Organisation report that pregnant women, infants, children under five years, patients with HIV/AIDS and mobile population were more vulnerable to the infection, he said special national strategies were necessary to protect these groups of the populace.
Akpoveta Susu, a professor and chairman, Advisory Board of the Nigeria Prize for Science, said the collaboration between LCCI and NLNG was to support the attainment of a malaria-free and healthy population that would deliver innovation and productivity needed to develop the country.
According to him, stakeholders should explore the possibility of commercial production of research findings by creating avenues that promote optimum utility, thereby realising the main reason for establishing the prize.
He said the science prize competition for 2018 would focus on ’Innovations in Electric Power Solutions,’ to evolve scientific solutions to the country’s power challenges.
“I can say that the Nigeria Prize for Science has placed great scientific innovations on the front burner in the country prompting other remarkable research works apart from the Malaria research works,” he said.
Susu said that the winner for Nigeria Prize for Science would get $100,000, adding that the competition was open to scientist and researchers worldwide to assist in finding solutions to Nigeria’s problem.