In a move to reduce Nigeria’s high malaria burden, the Department for International Development (DFID) is to invest £50 million (N23.376 billion) to support fund for malaria elimination in six states in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of Malaria Consortium, Mr. Charles Nelson at the Start-up meeting and launch of support to National Malaria Programme-phase (SuNMaP 2) said that one hundred and sixty five local government areas in the six states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, and Yobe will benefit from project slated to last from December 2018 to September 2024.
He explained that the purpose of the project is to improve the planning, financing and delivery of sustainable and repicable pro-poor services for malaria in supported States and also have increased sustainable availability of antimalarial commodities, more efficient and equitable malaria prevention and treatment services delivery.
Nelson said the fund budgeted was to be spread around procurement, implementation activities and evaluation to understand the effectiveness of the programme. “There are clear targets within this for the states which we are working. The whole idea is to integrate malaria programme with everything else that goes on in health care because it is one of the most significant issue in health care. If we can reduce the burden of malaria significantly in the states, we see huge reduction in child mortality, which i think is critical. So for us it is about seeing first that no child die of malaria and then we can move towards elimination from the communities.”
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole noted that in spite of the successes recorded in reduction in the prevalence of the disease, available evidences still show that malaria burden is still high in Nigeria.
The minister who was represented Mrs. Modupe Chukwuma disclosed that Nigeria still account for 25 per cent of malaria cases globally, adding that efforts to address the malaria burden in the country has been intensified since Nigeria committed to universal coverage of all priority intervention over the last decade.
According to him, the current programme was designed to achieve reduction of malaria burden through more efficient and effective use of available resources.“The main targets are reduction in all cause of under five mortality rate from 128 in 2013 to 85 by 22 and reduction in proportion of children aged 6-59 months infected with malaria parasites from 27 per cent in 2015 to 16 per cent by 2022.”While commending the development partners and global financing bodies for their support, he urged them not to stop supporting the country in her effort to eliminate the disease.