The U.S President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has said that it provided Nigeria with 14.7 million malaria treatment doses and 7.1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) in 2020.
This is as it also provided 7.2 million rapid test kits and trained 9,300 health workers in Nigeria to properly diagnose and treat patients for early detection of the disease.
The PMI, which made this known in its Annual Report released to the U.S. Congress on Friday, said 8.2 million of the doses were for pregnant women, even with the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PMI works with partner organizations to benefit more than 41 million people across Nigeria.
Use of ITNs is one of the most effective measures to prevent malaria in most Nigerian households.
Since 2010, PMI has supported Nigeria in the distribution of more than 61 million bed nets, which are now in use in 43 percent of Nigerian households, up from just 23 percent at the start of the initiative.
“Malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children in Nigeria,” said USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson, who oversees PMI activities in collaboration with CDC leadership. “We are pleased to see our partnership with Nigeria has had clear success and will continue this support with proven methods of prevention and treatment against malaria.”
Nevertheless, malaria remains an onerous burden among the poorest and the most vulnerable echelons of Nigerian society.
During pregnancy, the disease can pose a life-threatening risk to both mothers and babies; malaria also causes adults and children to miss work and school, contributing to economic hardship.
PMI works with Nigeria’s National Malaria Elimination Program to scale-up proven, cost-effective, and life-saving malaria control interventions centered around ITN distribution, intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women, diagnostic testing, and treatment.
U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator, Raj Panjabi, said “Science shows we can beat malaria and we can beat it in our lifetime. Yet we need bold action to stop COVID-19 from holding us back. The United States is proud to partner with Nigeria to continue the fight.”