U.S. donates 5m insecticide-treated bed nets to control malaria

Mnena Iyorkegh, Abuja

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The U.S. government, through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), has donated five million bed nets to Nigeria’s Oyo State as part of a national campaign to provide enough nets for every Nigerian to be protected from the deadly disease every night.

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The life-saving nets which will reach all 33 local government areas in Oyo State, is a critical component of the ongoing effort to end malaria in Nigeria, which resulted in nearly 96,000 deaths per year.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, USAID’s Acting PMI Resident Advisor, Ms. Celeste Carr, noted that conquering malaria needs collaborative efforts.

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,” . “Conquering malaria will not happen overnight and it will only happen if we all work together.”

Ms. Carr, added that ” 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). “

Responding, the Governor, Oyo State Engr. Seyi Makinde said “Malaria infection still poses a great threat to the social and economic wellbeing of the population. “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 U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative.”

The distribution will benefit more than eight million residents of Oyo State, providing atleast a minimum of one net for every two people within each household.

The PMI program in Nigeria is jointly implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in coordination with the Government of Nigeria.

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