US contributes $768m to fighting malaria in Nigeria



Daily Courier – The United States of America says it has spent $768 million, supporting government authorities to fight scourge of malarial in Nigeria within the last 11 year, adding that both countries have advanced the fight against the malaria despite the immense challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement that was issued yesterday by the US Embassy in Abuja said Nigeria and the US have committed and courageous frontline health workers, especially nurses, midwives, and community health workers, across the country, who went the extra mile to ensure essential malaria services were sustained. It added that their efforts saved lives and supported community resilience.

“The US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has partnered with Nigeria to fight malaria since 2011, contributing $768 million to date and $74 million in FY 2021. PMI’s Annual Report, released today, showcases how the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria enabled robust and effective malaria services to continue in FY 2021, even as COVID-19 caused enormous strain on the health system,” the statement said.

The US said through PMI funding and programmes, 58 million bed nets, 130 million fast acting medicines, and 82 million malaria test kits have been delivered to clinics and communities since 2011.

The government said 24 million preventive treatment doses were also delivered to pregnant women within the same period, while 13 million doses were given to children during the rainy season.

According to the statement, over 3,666 health workers received training that amplified their ability to detect and treat malaria, while strengthening the health system overall and providing key skills to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics in Nigeria in the last year.

USAID mission director Anne Patterson said, “I think what Nigeria is doing to advance more effective malaria prevention, treatment, and control is so important, especially the introduction of innovative tools to make better use of the data in real-time, and also to enhance quality of care via community-based health workers.”

Assisted by PMI investments, the US said Nigeria is progressing its fight against malaria using proven and cost-effective methods that save lives and promise a more healthy and prosperous future for families and communities.

The acting US Global Malaria coordinator Julie Wallace said, “With perseverance and strong global commitment we can end malaria in our lifetime. The United States is proud of our work with Nigeria in combating this deadly, yet entirely preventable, disease.”

As part of its commitment to the reduction of malaria burden and saving lives, the statement said the US Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa/Nigeria (USAMRD-A/N) with support from the PMI, has been able to increase and strengthen the capacities of medical laboratory scientists in malaria microscopy, rapid testing, quality assurance, and laboratory supervision.

USAMRD-A/N is also joining the State ministries of Health in Akwa-Ibom and Benue, the National Malaria Elimination Programme, and the Nigerian Ministry of Defense in launching the National Malaria Slide Bank (NMSB) project, it said.

The project is expected to produce Nigeria’s first bank of validated, domestically developed slides for malaria microscopy training, external quality assurance, and future research purposes, the statement added.

“Also, the average to above average dry spell durations expected, particularly in certain parts of the eastern Sahel, could cause a persistence of high temperatures and dust winds favourable to the proliferation of other germs of epidemic diseases.”