Nigeria’s Expenditure: N75.5 Billion on Malaria Treatment

Nigeria's Expenditure N75.5 Billion on Malaria Treatment

Biotech Expert Reveals Nigeria’s Costly Malaria Treatment: N75.5 Billion Per Cycle

Professor Chike Ogbonna, a Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering luminary at the University of Jos, disclosed the exorbitant expenses incurred in treating malaria in Nigeria during a recent interview.

Highlighting a staggering figure of N75.5 billion spent by the government for each cycle of malaria treatment, Ogbonna underscored the necessity of focusing on local production of Artemisia Annua. This plant holds artemisinin, a vital component in malaria treatment, and its local cultivation and processing could potentially reduce Nigeria’s reliance on imported medicinal supplies.

With Nigeria bearing a substantial burden of malaria cases, accounting for around 40% globally, Ogbonna stressed the critical need for commitment from governmental bodies and stakeholders to combat this pressing health issue.

Malaria is a leading cause of death, with a child or pregnant woman succumbing to complications from the disease every 30 seconds. Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed by the world because it primarily affects people of African descent,” lamented Ogbonna. He also raised concerns about pharmaceutical companies prioritizing profits over eradicating the disease.

Calling for collaborative efforts between the government and stakeholders, he emphasized the accessibility of malaria drugs as a crucial factor for all Nigerians.

Moreover, Ogbonna advocated for unity, emphasizing that concerted efforts could conquer all diseases. He urged a shift towards domestic drug production to curtail the immense financial resources currently allocated to malaria treatment, suggesting redirection of these funds to other developmental sectors like education, industry, and economic growth.

Despite Nigeria’s initial steps in cultivating Artemisia Annua in 2020, the nation’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency in its production remains unrealized.

Furthermore, it was reported that Emzor, a Nigerian pharmaceutical company, received €14 million to establish its inaugural active pharmaceutical ingredient plant. This initiative aims to produce high-quality and cost-effective anti-malarial drugs.


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