The Nigerian Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has said that recent available data has shown that the country is still far from realising its “malaria-free Nigeria” dream.

The minister however, said the federal government was determined to eliminate the disease by 2020.

He said though the country’s Malaria Strategic Plan was lauded for being focused and articulate, it came when resources to control malaria was declining.

“A look at some recent data shows that we are still far from our dream of malaria free Nigeria. Our current Malaria Strategic Plan, which is meant to lead us to pre-elimination, has been praised for being focused and articulate, but it is coming at a time when the resources for malaria control are dwindling.

“In addition, there are limited resources for effective programme coordination, monitoring and evaluation,” he said.

Professor Adewole said the government had allocated more resources to malaria control programme in the 2017 budget, saying “Our target is to achieve zero mortality rate from malaria by 2020.”

While commending the United States government for its support to eliminate malaria in Nigeria, the minister appealed for more funding. “I use this occasion to solicit for more support to enable us achieve a pre-elimination phase in 2020,” he said.

The Deputy Head of Mission, US Embassy, David Young urged Nigerians to sleep in treated netting, and also warned against the attempted use of counterfeit or substandard drugs to cure malaria.