US spends N7.4bn on treated bed nets to tackle malaria in Oyo

The United States Government has spent N7.4 billion on 5 million insecticide-treated bed nets and other logistics to eradicate malaria in Oyo State.

The donation, made on Monday through Joe Biden’s President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is part of a national campaign to provide enough nets for every Nigerian to be protected from the deadly disease every night.

A statement from the US Embassy disclosed that the treated net is expected to reach all 33 local government areas in Oyo 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 embassy noted.

“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.

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“Conquering malaria will not happen overnight and it will only happen if we all work together,” USAID’s Acting PMI Resident Advisor, Ms. Celeste Carr, said at the handover ceremony.

“In addition to the nets, PMI also provided funding for logistics, including transportation and community mobilization 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,” the embassy stated.

Seyi Makinde, Oyo state governor in his welcome remarks, said malaria still poses a great threat to the social and economic wellbeing of the population in the state.

“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 US President’s Malaria Initiative.”

The US Embassy disclosed that the PMI program in Nigeria is jointly implemented by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US 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 mobilization to encourage members of the community to sleep under the bed nets every night, and trains health workers to test for malaria before treatment,” it stated.

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