Nigeria: U.S. to Support Four States, FCT Against Malaria

Hassan Karofi | 23 Oct 2007
Daily Trust

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with Netm-ark and the Delybim Foundation, is working to reverse malaria scourge in four selected states of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Benue and the Federal Capital Territory.

Disclosing this in Kano over the weekend, USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Mr. Alonzo Wind, said 10,000 communities have been identified in the focal states for the reversal of the scourge in the next coming years.

He said 60,000 insecticide treated nets and free distribution of insecticides to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and children under the age of five would ensure equity in the distribution of what he called proven preventive measures against malaria.

He said despite decades of fighting the malaria scourge, the disease has continued to cause devastation in Africa and promised that USAID will continue to support the ongoing fight against the scourge.

"We believe the most effective tool against malaria is the insecticide treated net which can significantly reduce the risk of transmission and is yet to be utilised by a significant proportion of the population', he said.

He reaffirmed that the United States will continue to support the Nigerian government in the resolve to fight malaria. Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, represented by the state's Health Commissioner, Hajiya Aisha Isyaku, said government is determined to reverse the malaria scourge through a number of interventions designed in the new malaria control booster project of the state government.

He said government has significantly enhanced the healthcare workforce and infrastructure of the health facilities. He commended USAID, DFID, EU, WHO, UNICEF and the Delybim Foundation for their support to the state's health sector.

National coordinator of the National Malaria and Vector Control at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Mrs T.O Sofola, represented by Mrs Felicia Ewoigbokham said the 2007 reports showed that malaria was still leading as cause of morbidity and mortality among pregnant women and children under five years in the country.

Meanwhile, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 10 fake distributors of ITNs in the state in a raid at some markets in Kano. Presenting the suspects to the state's commissioner for health, NDLEA state commandant, Barrister Salu Walter, said his command is ready to deal decisively with anyone who attempts to cause hazard to public health.