The U.S. government, through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), has donated 5 million insecticide-treated bed nets to Oyo state as part of a national campaign to provide enough nets for every Nigerian to be protected from the deadly disease.
A press statement by USAID, Monday, said the nets would reach all 33 local government areas in the state.
“The bed net distribution is a critical component of the ongoing effort to end malaria in Nigeria, which results in nearly 96,000 deaths per year,” the statement read.
“Malaria is a leading cause of illness and death in Nigeria, particularly now at the peak of the rainy season when mosquito populations increase dramatically,” USAID’s Acting PMI Resident Advisor, Ms. Celeste Carr, said at the handover ceremony.
“Conquering malaria will not happen overnight and it will only happen if we all work together,” she added.
According to the US agency, “In addition to the nets, PMI also provided funding for logistics, including transportation and community mobilisation carried out in partnership with the Oyo state government, which led the planning, coordination, and distribution effort.
“The total value of the contribution is near $18 million (₦7.4 billion). The distribution will benefit more than eight million residents of Oyo state, providing at a minimum one net for every two people within each household.”
On his part, Governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde, said at the ceremony: “We must therefore do everything possible to safeguard our people, particularly the vulnerable group of women and children with the help of stakeholders [including] the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative.
“Malaria infection still poses a great threat to the social and economic wellbeing of the population of Oyo state.”
The PMI programme in Nigeria is jointly implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in coordination with the Government of Nigeria.
Since 2011, PMI has procured more than 61 million insecticide-treated nets as part of a $712 million overall contribution to malaria control in Nigeria.
PMI also supports advocacy and mobilisation to encourage members of the community to sleep under the bed nets every night, and trains health workers to test for malaria before treatment.