August 26, 2012

Additional $225m Grant To Fight Malaria in Nigeria

NIGERIA and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, at the weekend, signed two grant agreements valued at $225 million as part of a Phase-2 grant to boost malaria prevention and treatment in the country.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, at the signing ceremony in Abuja, stressed that Phase 2 of the grant would be implemented in 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.

He was hopeful that with lessons learned from Phase 1, the current phase would be successful and provide a successful model for other countries.

The grants are to contribute to achieving nationwide coverage of bed nets through mass campaigns and routine distribution, and increase access to medicine and diagnostic tests that are critical to saving life at onset of malaria. The bed nets are treated with insecticide, which not only protects children and adults sleeping in them, but also reduce spread of the disease by eliminating mosquitoes. Health workers in public and private sectors are also to be trained and funds reserved to raise awareness among communities.

The main recipients of the additional grants are the National Malaria Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Society for Family Health.

At a ceremony witnessed by leading donor organisations in the health sector including Chairman of Friends of Africa, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the Minister of Health signed on behalf of the country, while Deputy Executive Director of the Global Fund, Debrework Zewdie, countersigned.

Chukwu said: “Over the past decades, the malaria control programme has not only introduced but scaled up several interventions in line with global response to the disease and also with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The interventions include provision of prompt diagnosis using rapid diagnostic test kits and appropriate malaria treatments using Artemisinin combination therapies to all population at risk; distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets through mass campaigns and routine distribution channels.

Debrework said: “With the entire population at risk of infection with malaria, and where more deaths are caused by malaria than in any other country, Nigeria is poised to become a global leader in fight against the disease.”

The Global Fund is taking steps to increase the impact of its investments. During a transformation of the Global Fund’s grant management structure, this year, Nigeria was identified as one of the 20 ‘high impact’ countries that is now receiving special attention. The Global Fund is also devising a new funding model that is expected to ensure strategic investment in programmes that can be most effective, such as the malaria control programme in Nigeria.”

So, in addressing the malaria challenge, we are by that tackling the challenge of achieving the core health related MDGs; that is MDGs 4, 5 and 6. There is no doubt in my mind that with programmes like the ‘Saving One Million Lives’ of the ministry, which aims to rapidly increase access to basic service delivery under the Malaria component and others, such as maternal and child health (MCH), elimination of mother to child transmission (eMTCT), routine immunisation (RI), Nutrition and Essential medicine, we are on the right track to achieving our goal.”

Source: TheGuardian (

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