• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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U.S restates commitment to fight against malaria, celebrates achievements in Nigeria

U.S restates commitment to fight against malaria, celebrates achievements in Nigeria

The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has reiterated its commitment to the fight against malaria with a recent celebration of five years of the VectorLink project’s achievements in Nigeria.

In the last five-year, the U.S. in close partnership with Nigeria, has provided technical expertise of about $7.8 million for surveillance of organisms that host malaria-causing parasites and insecticide resistance monitoring across Nigeria under the President’s Malaria Initiative VectorLink project.

“USAID reaffirms our commitment through PMI to support the holistic approach of the national malaria control program to eliminate malaria in Nigeria, notably through vector control. We would like to thank the National Malaria Elimination Programme for the unwavering leadership and our partners at VectorLink for the quality and diligence of your work over the past five years,” Jules Mihigo, PMI resident advisor stated.

Mihigo stated further that as the VectorLink project draws to a close, the USAID-PMI will continue to engage and support the national malaria elimination programme under the new PMI-Evolve project, which will begin on August 1.

Accordingly, the PMI-Evolve will build the capacity of community members to understand, accept, and sustain the use of vector control interventions to reduce mosquito bites and the malaria burden.

In 2021, malaria killed an estimated 619,000 people around the world according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), an increase of 12 percent over the prior year, with many of the additional deaths due to service disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Millions more fell sick from the disease, with young children and pregnant women among the most vulnerable. Nigeria contributes almost a quarter (23 percent) of the world’s malaria cases and has a 31 percent mortality rate.

There is widespread insecticide resistance by the major malaria vectors across the country. This threatens the effectiveness of the available control tools, including nets.

Since 2006, the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has protected millions of people in Africa from malaria through the deployment of insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor residual spraying.

These interventions kill the mosquitoes that transmit malaria by spraying insecticide on the walls, ceilings, and other indoor mosquito resting places. In September 2017, the United States continued its commitment to tackling this deadly disease, launching the five-year PMI VectorLink Project in Nigeria.

The PMI VectorLink Project equipped Nigeria to plan and implement safe, cost-effective, and sustainable indoor residual spraying and other life-saving malaria vector control interventions with the overall goal of reducing the malaria burden.

The project has provided quality control for the distribution of over 21 million insecticide-treated nets in Nasarawa, Rivers, Kebbi, Sokoto, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Bauchi, and Cross River.