The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on malaria in the country.
The call was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion on Urgent Matters of Public Importance by Rep. Abubakar Adamu (Niger-APC).
The house resolved that the government should mandate the Federal Ministry of Health to fumigate endemic areas to curb the disease in the country.
The lawmakers also urged the government to immediately provide free drugs and remove substandard malaria drugs from the market.
Moving the motion earlier, Adamu said the country had been ravaged by malnutrition and famine which had made many women and children susceptible to diseases.
According to him, fact sheet released in 2010 by the US Department of State listed malaria as the top cause of death in the country.
Referring to the fact sheet, Adamu said that over 300,000 malaria-related deaths were recorded annually as against 215,000 caused by HIV/AIDS.
“Going by the Society for Family Health report, malaria accounted for the loss of three billion dollars annually,’’ he said.
He said that though West Africa was a stable zone for malaria, there were preventive and curative measures which could be taken by government and individuals to secure the lives of the citizens.
In his contribution, Rep. Abubakar Amudakannike (Kwara-APC) said that sanitation programmes were no longer taken seriously by states across the country.
Amudakannike said that there was need to enforce sanitation programmes to ensure cleanliness across the country.
In its resolution, the house urged the Federal Government to provide resources to clear mosquito breeding grounds as well as educate and help families to protect themselves against malaria.