After a motion by Senator Olanrewaju Tejuosho at plenary, the Senate stressed the need for the government to access the fund through the Innovative Financing for Malaria Prevention and Control Project (IMPACT).
He said malaria accounted for about 23 percent of the entire burden of diseases, adding that it was responsible for the deaths of about 250,000 Children under five years annually.
The lawmaker said children who survived malaria had problems associated with impaired cognitive and physical development.
He noted that malaria is most prevalent in areas with poor living conditions and lack of access to functional healthcare facilities.
This, Tejuosho said, had put the poor and vulnerable population at greater risk.
Said he: “The preliminary results of the 2015 Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) demonstrate that malaria remains disproportionately a disease of the poor.
“The poorest two income quintiles of children have malaria prevalence of 43.2 percent and 40.6 percent compared to children in the richest income quintile, children who have only one tenth the prevalence at 4.3 percent.”
The senator said the World Bank was ready to provide the $300 million malaria bond in the form of a low-interest loan, to be issued by the financial institution on behalf of Nigeria.
According to him, what is required is to issue an AAA-rated bond on the Capital Market.
He stressed that the proposed IMPACT project would access $300 million to finance malaria diagnostics, drugs, insecticide, mosquito nets and public enlightenment.
Senate President Dr. BukolaSaraki thanked Tejuosho for the motion and the revelation.
He advised the government to ensure that money being given by the donor agency be accessed in order to fight most of the diseases ravaging the populace.
Saraki referred the matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Health, which is to report back in four weeks for further legislative action.