The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says it has contributed $768 million dollars to Nigeria’s fight against malaria from 2011 to date.
USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Dr Anne Patterson, who disclosed this in a statement made available in Awka, on Monday, said the funding was made through the U.S President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), to enable robust and effective malaria services to continue even as COVID-19 caused enormous strain on the health system.
She disclosed that 58 million bed nets, 130 million fast acting medicines, and 82 million malaria test kits had been delivered to clinics and communities since 2011, through the PMI funding and programmes.
According to her, 24 million preventive treatment doses were also delivered to pregnant women and 13 million doses to children during the rainy season.
“As stated by PMI’s Annual Report, the U.S. has partnered with Nigeria to fight malaria since 2011, contributing $768 million dollars to date and $74 million in FY 2021.
“In the past year, more than 3,666 health workers received training that amplified their ability to detect and treat malaria, while strengthening the health system overall and providing key skills to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics.
“I think what Nigeria is doing to advance more effective malaria prevention, treatment, and control is so important, especially the introduction of innovative tools to make better use of the data, and also to enhance quality of care via community-based health workers.
“Assisted by PMI investments, Nigeria is progressing its fight against malaria using proven and cost-effective methods that save lives and promise a more healthy and prosperous future for families and communities,” she said.
Also speaking, Dr Julie Wallace, Acting U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator, said that the U.S was proud of working with Nigeria in combating the deadly, yet entirely preventable disease.
“We are partnering with Nigeria on a project as part of our commitment to the reduction of the malaria burden and saving lives.
“The U.S Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa/Nigeria (USAMRD-A/N), also with support from the PMI, has been able to increase and strengthen the capacities of medical laboratory scientists in malaria microscopy, rapid testing, quality assurance, and laboratory supervision.
“The USAMRD-A/N is also joining the State Ministries of Health in Akwa-Ibom and Benue, the National Malaria Elimination Programme, and the Nigerian Ministry of Defense in launching the National Malaria Slide Bank (NMSB) Project.
“The project will produce Nigeria’s first bank of validated, domestically developed slides for malaria microscopy training, external quality assurance, and future research purposes,” she said.