By Temitope Akintoye,
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has concluded plans to give Nigeria $417million grant for three years to fight malaria and strengthen research to end malarial infections within the country.
While acknowledging that the country has done enough on malaria prevention, it argued that more efforts were necessary on procurement of preventive aids, and also, research efforts to develop working vaccinations against malaria which was pertinent to safety and wellbeing of its citizens.
In a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) coordinator, Dr. Audu Mohammed, said that Nigeria was set to receive a $417 million grant targetted at total eradication of malaria from the country.
Mohammed had explained that data on malaria cases in Nigeria showed that 25% of the world’s incidence of malaria were cases which had occurred in the country, which went to show that malaria, in Nigeria, had reached endemic proportions and needed to be addressed urgently.
He noted that malaria had been responsible for up to 60 percent of outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 percent of childhood deaths, 25 percent of deaths in children under one year and 11 percent maternal deaths which had occurred in 2019, and as such, could be seen as a menace which had to be given immediate attention.
Mohammed listed duties of NMEP to include: policy formulation, policy facilitation, drawing up of policy guidelines, coordinating of partners and stakeholders’ malaria targetted activities and providing technical support to states’ anti-malaria programs.
“The grant is to procure life-saving items such as mosquito nets, medication, and rapid test tools, among others, in 13 states for poor and hard-to-reach people in those states, with a bid to reducing the incidence of malaria amongst them,”
“This will go a long way in cutting down the number of malaria incidences in Nigeria and give us the much needed time to work on getting a more permanent solution to the disease infection”.
The coordinator stated that $417million grant was a complementary measure to ongoing efforts by the Federal Government in disease management and explained that the grant would be spread across several platforms to give wide coverage and greater impact.
“Malaria programs will take 47% of the N890 million allocation from Global Fund to Nigeria and would be used to reduce HIV, TB, and Malaria from 2021 to 2023, while ten percent of the grant will also be used for Resilient Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH), which is according to specifications made in the grant document,”
“With the new grant, we will continue implementing the National Strategic Plan on Malaria Elimination and will be focusing on the 13 states that are currently getting support from the fund: Adamawa, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Taraba, and Yobe,” he said.
Mohammed said that the grant would enable an upgrade of health facilities, facilitate increased access to anti-malaria commodities, strengthen routine surveillance and provide data for decision making.