The Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Akintola, has urged the Federal Government to make the treatment of Malaria free.
Akintola in a message on Monday to mark the Islamic New Year 1440 after the Hijrah, said the disease remained the highest killer of Nigerians especially the poor.
He said that the government must also take the bold step of raising budgetary allocation to the health sector to enhance access to effective and efficient healthcare services by the poor.
“The budgetary allocation to the health sector year after year falls short of the 15% recommended at the African Health Summit in Abuja more than ten years ago.
“Our lawmakers are not worried so long as they make part of the 1% of the population who are oppressing the masses.
“As a result of the lackadaisical and selfish attitude of the political class to public health care, malaria is now a risk for 97% of Nigeria’s population.
“There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases in the country today.
“Malaria kills more than 300,000 poor people every year in this country and it contributes to an estimated 11% of maternal mortality,” he stated.
Akintola blamed the “pathetic” level of malaria cases in the country to corruption, greed and avarice which had whittled every effort to effectively tackle malaria prevalence.
“Just one per cent of the Nigerian population arrogates 85% of the country’s wealth to themselves, leaving a paltry 15% of our wealth to the remaining 99% of the population.
“Nigeria is a monumental tragedy when it comes to the distribution of wealth,” he added.