Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo revealed that the country loses about N300 billion every year to the prevention and treatment of malaria and other endemic diseases.
Obasanjo has made this known yesterday at the launch and endowment for the proposed University of Medicine and Medical Studies to be built by the management of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta.
He said: “Nigeria loses about N300bn annually to the prevention and treatment of malaria, including the loss of man-hours and diminished productivity.
“These alarming statistics are further worsened by a number of infrastructural deficiencies.
“It is common knowledge that 43 per cent of the population lacks access to safe water, 37 per cent lacks access to adequate sanitation and about 40 per cent lacks access to public health services.
“Apart from the endemic diseases, the rising number of non-communicable and life-threatening diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic kidney diseases, cancers of the breast and cervix among our women, prostate and colon cancer among men is alarming.
“There is also a challenge of malnutrition and food security in the country.”