The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has declared Nigeria can only eradicate malaria completely in the future but not right now.
He said although Nigeria possesses the bio and nuclear technology that can control and eradicate malaria from its boarders, it can only be sustainable when it is eradicated in the continent as a whole.
Onu added that the eradication of malaria in Nigeria will not be sustainable because after Nigeria eradicates the mosquito vectors, new ones will simply fly in from border countries.
The Minister stated these on Tuesday in Abuja, while receiving the report by the technical Committee set up on the proposed national project on the eradication of malaria in Nigeria.
He said: ” There are many countries in the world that have eradicated malaria but in a country like Nigeria, if we want to eradicate malaria, even if we do it completely in Nigeria at any given time it will not be sustainable because we have so many countries whether it is Cameron, Chad, Niger and Benin Rebublic as boarders and we have other neighbouring countries that mosquitoes can easily fly in from with the parasite and make the achievement not sustainable.
“For Nigeria to really be free from malaria, we must aim to make sure that the whole of Africa is free.
“From what this report has indicated, the parasite and the vector are critical in the eradication of malaria.”
He added: “The issue of eradication of malaria from Nigeria is very important and we need to take the first step, which is what we are doing.
“It is a long journey, which is going to take many years but we cannot because it is difficult say that it cannot be done, we must take the first step.
“If others can do it, then yes we can do it. We have the capacity of both bio and nuclear technology that can help us control and eradicate the parasite and the vector.
“It doesn’t matter how long it takes, what matters is that one day in the future, malaria will be eradicated in Nigeria and Africa so that the eradication in Nigeria will be sustainable.”