USAID to support malaria programme in Plateau state

The U.S. Agency for International Department (USAID) says it is set to initiate a comprehensive malaria treatment and prevention programme in Plateau.

A USAID official, Dr Jessica Kahuko, made the disclosure when she led a team of the Department’s officials on a courtesy visit to Governor Simon Lalong in Jos, the Plateau state capital

Dr. Kahuko said the programme would be financed with the 75 million U.S. dollars budgetary provisions of the U.S. Government for malaria initiatives in 11 states in Nigeria.

She said “75 million dollars has been budgeted for the malaria programme in 11 states of the federation by the U.S. Government”, adding that “a memorandum of understanding will be signed between the Agency and Plateau Government before the take-off of the programme”.

The team leader said the decision to intervene in the prevention of malaria in the state was informed by alarming statistics that Plateau has one of highest prevalence in the country.

In his remarks, Governor Lalong said his administration was aware of the high rate of malaria infection in the state and was ready to collaborate with stakeholders to curb the menace.

The governor said the state government has a team of professionals willing to work with the USAID team for a collective task of creating a malaria-free society.

The US government in 2005 launched, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI through which it supports national malaria control programs. It works in coordination with other national and international partners, including the Roll Back Malaria Partnership; the Global Fund; UNICEF; the Global Malaria Program of the World Health Organization; to eliminate the disease. In 2015, President Barak Obama launched the PMI strategy for 2015-2020, launched at the White House in early 2015, has a long-term vision of a world without malaria, by working with countries and partners to further reduce malaria deaths and substantially decrease malaria morbidity, toward the long-term goal of elimination. https://www.usaid.gov/global-health/fact-sheets/malaria-announcement-february-2016.

NIGERIA’S MALARIA ELIMINATION PROGRAMME

According to Nigeria’s Malaria Programe, the disease constitutes a huge epidemiologic burden in Africa and continues to cripple the economic development in the region. In Nigeria, the disease is responsible for 60% outpatient visits to health facilities, 30% childhood death, 25% of death in children under one year and 11% maternal death.

In 2015, Nigeria launched the National Malaria Strategic Plan 2014 – 2020 which targets the  reduction of  malaria prevalence to less than 5% and malaria related deaths to zero by 2020.

The major national targets as outlined in the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP) 2014-2020 are as follows:

  • At least 80 percent of targeted populations utilise appropriate preventive measures by 2020.
  • To ensure that all persons with suspected malaria who seek care are tested with RDTs or microscopy by 2020.
  • All persons with malaria seen in private, public health facilities or community agents receive prompt treatment with an effective anti-malarial drug by 2020
  • At least 80 percent of the population practice appropriate malaria prevention and management by 2020
  • Put in place a system for timely availability of appropriate antimalarial medicines and commodities required for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria in Nigeria by 2018
  • At least 80 percent of health facilities in all LGAs report routinely on malaria by 2020, progress is measured, and evidence is used for programme improvement
  • To strengthen governance and coordination of all stakeholders for effective programme implementation towards an ‘A’ rating by 2017 that is sustained through to 2020 on a standardised scorecard

Rafat S.