Fight Against Malaria : Nigeria Gets £1bn Support From UK

The United Kingdom government has pledged approximately £1 billion to the global fund targeting malaria and other diseases in Nigeria, spanning from 2024 to 2026.

Ms. Ebere Anyachukwu, the Health Adviser at the British High Commission (BHC) in Abuja, revealed this contribution on Friday.

She emphasized that the UK government’s commitment aims to support countries in their fight against diseases through the global fund.

This substantial amount, when combined with contributions from other donors, will be administered by the global fund to address malaria and other health challenges in Nigeria.

These funds will be utilized for crucial resources such as insecticides, treated bed nets, malaria diagnostics testing, and chemo prevention.

“There are some states in Nigeria where malaria is seasonal. Those are states where chemo prevention is used to prevent children from coming down with malaria.

“In those states, malaria spreads in a few months within a year, and during that period, there is a high level of malaria transmission in children, resulting in lots of deaths,” he said.

The health adviser said children in such states were usually given malaria drugs, whether or not they have malaria.

“These are part of measures by global fund that have significantly reduced the level of sicknesses and deaths in children.”

He said the UK was a big contributor to the global fund, which is currently supporting about 13 states in Nigeria.

He listed the states to include Adamawa, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa,   Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Yobe and Taraba.

“With the global funding support, there has been a significant reduction of malaria related deaths in children in Nigeria.

“In 2008, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that Nigeria had about 221,000 malaria related deaths. But by 2022, the figure was about 189 deaths.

“There is a significant reduction due to the intervention of global fund, even when there was an increase in the nation’s population.

“Lots of lives have been saved over the years because people now have access to health care facilities funded by these interventions,” he said.

The Federal Ministry of Health says Nigeria has made tremendous malaria progress in recent years.

However, it warned greater collaboration was needed to boost the malaria battle and improve results.

National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Godwin Ntadon, gave the charge in Abuja, yesterday, at an event to mark the 2024 World Malaria Day with the theme: “Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world.”

Plans are in motion to reassess and introduce a new strategy in the battle against malaria.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, along with partners and various stakeholders engaged in the fight against malaria, will participate in this review to ensure effective outcomes.

Walter Molumbo, the Country Representative of WHO, expressed through his deputy, Alex Chimbaru, that the theme of the event strongly aligns with the continuous endeavors to combat malaria.

“This year, let us collectively recommit to changing the narrative and ushering in a new era of progress and equity in our battle against malaria.

“Over the years, malaria has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable populations, namely, pregnant women, infants, children under five years of age, refugees, migrants, and internally displaced people, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequity.

“Climate change and humanitarian emergencies, including natural disasters and conflicts in malaria-endemic countries, are displacing populations, making them vulnerable to the disease. This reduces opportunities for accessing preventive and treatment services by these groups thus hindering progress on achieving the vision of a malaria-free world.”

He insisted the fight against malaria is not just a health issue, but a matter of social justice and human rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *