DR Temitope Enitan-Ogunwusi, wife of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has been installed as the South-West’s malaria elimination advocate.
The Federal Ministry of Health, Department of Public Health, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) unit, conferred the title on her, in collaboration with malaria implementation partners, including USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Society for Family Health and Catholic Relief Services, at the palace in Ile-Ife.
Mr Timothy Obot, speaking at the investiture, which was witnessed by many dignities, including the wife of the Osun State governor, Mrs Titilola Adeleke, said she is expected to serve as brand representative for malaria programme activities in the region, help promote increased media visibility and access to malaria treatment and encourage individuals to sleep inside insecticide-treated nets.
“She is expected to work with various stakeholders, including wives of the governors, traditional rulers, kingmakers, lawmakers, local government chairmen, philanthropic individuals, corporate organisations and influencers, to raise awareness of malaria and support malaria intervention towards the achievement of the desired goal of eliminating malaria,” he added.
Mr Obot said Nigeria accounts for 25 percent and 32 percent of global malaria cases and global deaths due to malaria but added that efforts are being made by the government and its partners to bring a reduction in malaria cases in the country.
While the prevalence of malaria has reduced from 42 percent in 2010 to 22 percent in 2021, Mr Obot said inadequate funding is a factor hindering Nigeria’s attainment of 95 percent reduction in malaria mortality cases as stipulated in World Health Organisation’s global strategy covering 2016 to 2030.
“Currently, both public and private sectors, including philanthropists and the general public, are called upon to support the drive towards malaria elimination. Your acceptance as a malaria elimination advocate to the South-West is a great boost to this effort by the government to reduce malaria burden,” he said.
Olori Enitan-Ogunwusi, in her response, described the investiture as a call to selfless service to humanity, adding that this would require a collective work by everyone.
Mrs Adeleke, who has been promoting malaria prevention, testing and treatment as the state Net Ambassador, called on stakeholders to put in place measures to end malaria in the state as well as South-West, Nigeria.