The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has handed over 4.5 million bed nets to the Oyo state government to help reduce the spread of malaria in the state.
The USAID Mission Director Representative, Dr. Rick Niska during the formal handover said the United States government would provide an additional $4.5 million to support the logistics of the campaign, including transportation of the bed nets, community mobilization, training, and household mobilization.
The bed nets valued at $13.5 million will be distributed through a mass campaign within the thirty-three local government areas of the state.
The Executive Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, a cross-section of traditional rulers, Federal and State government officials attended the event, showing their support for overcoming malaria in Oyo State.
Since 2011, the U.S. government has provided $419 million to control malaria in Nigeria.
Malaria is one of the leading killers of children and a leading cause of illness in Nigeria, particularly during the rainy season when the mosquito population increases.
Nightly use of an insecticide treated bed net is the best way to prevent malaria and bed nets put a vital barrier between people and the mosquitoes that carry malaria, particularly during the hours from dusk to dawn.
The use of insecticide treated bed nets prevents infections, which in turn prevents the spread of malaria, the bed nets also help to interrupt their cycle.
Over 50 percent of U.S. funding for malaria goes into procuring and distributing insecticide treated bed nets, malaria diagnostic kits, and malaria medicines.
The U.S. also supports advocacy and community mobilization to sleep under the bed nets every night, training of health workers, and test for malaria before treatment.