By Tom Okpe
The House of Representatives has vowed to subsidize Malaria drugs in the country, if not made free at all Government Health Centers to citizens.
The House lamented the alarming rate of Malaria infections in the country, saying that declaring emergency on Malaria will not be out of place.
House Chairman on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control, (ATM), Rep Amobi Godwin Ogar who made this known at the inugural meeting of the Committee at the National Assembly on Thursday, said most Nigerians are affected by Malaria, yet access to drugs are not readily available, while the ones available are exorbitant.
Ogar informed that the Committee will address the proliferation of fake and sub-standard Malaria drugs in the country with a view to identifying the sources and imposing penalties on them.
According to him, the Committee will critically look into the operations and processes of the Global Fund in relation to their intervention mechanism in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“I am concerned by the havoc, the scourge is wrecking on our populace and we are pushing, to advocate that Malaria drugs be subsidized if not made free at all Government Health Centers.
“It is no rocket science that most Nigerians are affected by Malaria yet, access to drugs are not readily available, while the ones available are exorbitant.
“My vision is to see a Nigeria where Malaria drugs will be given to our people, free or subsidized.
“As you are all aware the Committee on ATM is saddled with the responsibility to formulate legislative measures for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, coordinating and harmonizing activities of Government and non -Governmental Agencies on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, generally, to ensure effectiveness of efforts at HIV/AIDS and Malaria control, remedy and cure for Aids patients.
“Oversight of all agencies under our jurisdiction and annual Budget estimates among other responsibilities pursuant to Standing Order 20, Rule 52 of the House of Representatives, 10th edition.
“Following my appointment as the substantive Chairman of the Committee by Rep Tajudeen Abbas in the 10th National Assembly, I have done extensive research in the area of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“I have also had interface and interactive meetings with key stakeholders within our purview and I must say to you all, there is work to be done.
“We are going to device new mechanism and approach in our engagements and fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria control in our Country with a view to making a difference and avoid, failures of the past,” he stated.
Ogar further stressed that the Committee must seek new collaborations and partnerships to enhance and reinvigorate the fight against these diseases.
“To achieve all our objectives, we are ready to partner and collaborate with relevant MDAs, Donor Agencies and NGOs, I assure you that we are ready to move mountains to ensure we succeed,” he stated.