In a bid to eliminate malaria in Nigeria, foremost financial institution with a strong bias for excellent services delivery, Access Bank, under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria have championed an innovative financing platform that seeks to galvanise private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards averting at least one million malaria cases and deaths by 2020–a first step towards complementing government’s effort in achieving its malaria pre-elimination goals by 2020, tagged ‘Malaria-To-Zero’ Initiative.
This platform will integrate existing and new initiatives on eradicating malaria, and thus build synergies that produce impact far greater than what could be attained with fragmented efforts.
While understanding that Malaria is a completely preventable and treatable life-threatening disease which is responsible for significant loss of lives, especially of women and children, globally, it has also caught the attention of Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, Huawei Technologies as they are also making commitment to be part of impact makers to eradicate malaria totally as they believe that collaborations and platforms like this are key catalysts to accelerating the impact of malaria intervention
Malaria represents one of the biggest public health and developmental challenges in Nigeria. According to 2015 estimates, Nigeria had over 100 million malaria cases and about 300,000 malaria deaths, representing the highest number of malaria casualties worldwide. Its negative implications transcend all sectors, generations and social strata among the Nigerian population including mothers who lose their lives during pregnancy, children who die before their 5th birthdays, and members of the corporate workforce who are absent from their jobs.
CEO of Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, Dr. Muntaqa Sadiq said that ‘the currency in the health sector is the number of lives saved and the goal of Malaria to Zero is to save 1,000,000 lives from malaria death’. PHN has also acknowledged that accelerating progress towards pre-elimination requires rethinking the way malaria interventions are developed, executed and financed, from a public, fragmented, tactical approach to an innovative public-private bespoke approach. The CEO of Access Bank, Wigwe also reaffirmed the commitment of the bank to fight malaria in Nigeria by stating that “malaria kills business productivity and denies children access to education, we are strongly committed to Malaria to Zero so as to continuously strengthen a conducive platform aimed at supporting the National Malaria Elimination Strategy. “