U.S. pledges commitment to help fight malaria in Nigeria

Malaria• Promises to provide 8.7m insecticide-treated nets to families
• Kano recorded over 22,000 deaths in 2015
• NGO distributes 1,500 nets, tests 500 in Ogun

The United States (U.S.) Envoy to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, yesterday said the U.S. as the world’s leading donor in global health was committed to working with Nigeria and all other partners in intensifying efforts at freeing people from the burden of malaria.

In a statement to mark the World Malaria Day yesterday, April 25, 2016, Entwistle said the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) had been working assiduously in collaboration with national partners such as the Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Elimination Programme and International partners such as World Health Organisation (WHO), among others, in distribution of insecticide-treated nets for individuals living in malaria-endemic areas.

The U.S. envoy, who stated that the PMI would provide 8.7 million nets to families in Nigeria in 2016, said the U.S. had in the past year trained 7,000 health workers around the world, including Nigeria, in malaria case management.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 22,000 persons had died of malaria in Kano in 2015, said the state Ministry of Health.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, told journalists that malaria morbidity and mortality in economic term has led to loss of billions of naira in cost of drugs and other cost management.

He hinted that as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly but preventable disease, government in collaboration with foreign partners has concluded plan to roll out community case management of malaria across the 44 local councils of the state.

In another development, the Association of Civil Organisation for Malaria Control, Immunisation and Nutrition (ACOMIN), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), yesterday celebrated the 2016 “World Malaria Day” with the testing of 500 people for malaria and distribution of 1,500 treated nets to people in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The state Acting Co-ordinator of ACOMIN, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olatunji, who spoke at a sensitisation programme to mark the day, disclosed that the organisation was working with governments at all levels and other health organisations to ensure that malaria is totally eliminated in Nigeria by 2018.

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