The increasing number of deaths resulting from malaria in the world today, particularly in Africa necessitated the creation of World MalariaDay in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Organisation.

The day was instituted to provide “education and understanding of malaria” and spread information on “year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas.

As part of activities marking this year’s World Malaria Day, Reckitt Benckiser’s premium anti malaria brand, mortein joined forces with Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu and other stakeholders to step up an advocacy for the elimination of malaria in Nigeria.

According to Roll Back Malaria, there are an estimated 300 million acute cases of malaria every year around the world, resulting in more than one million deaths. Approximately 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, mostly in young children. Malaria in Nigeria, according to the Federal Ministry of Health, is responsible for 60 percent of outpatient visits to health facilities; 30 percent of childhood deaths; 25 per cent of deaths in children under one year.

Speaking at a joint ministerial press briefing with key partners to mark the day in Umuahia, Abia State, Managing Director, Reckitt Benckiser, Rahul Morgai affirmed the commitment of the company to offer Mortein, the company’s brand of insecticide as partner brand to government in leading the charge in the fight against malaria in Nigeria.

Quoting statistics from UNICEF, Rahul said, “despite great progress in the fight against Malaria, the disease still remains the third largest killer of children globally. Most Malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and every year more than 500 million people become severely ill with Malaria. More than 1 million people die each year. Majority of the victims are children and pregnant women.”

He further charged stakeholders to be ready to join hands with government in the campaign saying, “if according to the World Health Organisation, Malaria still kills 3,000 children under the age of five every day and one African child still dies every 30 seconds while Sub-Saharan Africa bears 90 per cent of the burden, then we all must rise to the occasion and put an end to malaria in Nigeria.”

Rahul said this is why Mortein is joining hands with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Abia State Ministry of Health, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Anambra State Ministry of Health and the World Health organisation (WHO) to have an expanded anti-malaria campaign that will reverse this scourge.