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FG, firm launch N23bn malaria programme for 6 states

Malaria Consortium, an international non-governmental organisation in collaboration with the federal government yesterday launched a programme worth over N23 billion to reduce the burden of…

Malaria Consortium, an international non-governmental organisation in collaboration with the federal government yesterday launched a programme worth over N23 billion to reduce the burden of malaria in six states.

The programme tagged Support to the National Malaria Programme in Nigeria (SUNMAP-2) is a DFID-funded bilateral programme.

It’s the second phase of the UK aid funded Support to the National Malaria Programme in Nigeria (SUNMAP) delivered by Malaria Consortium from 2008 to 2016.

The programme is expected to be implemented both at national level and in Jigawa, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and Yobe from December 2018 to September 2023.

The post implementation studies and evaluation is planned to take place in September 2024.

The Chief Executive Officer of Malaria Consortium, Charles Nelson, said the programme is aimed at integrating malaria into other healthcare issues, reducing death of children from malaria as well as ensuring efficient malaria prevention, and treatment services.

He said: “The total investment is somewhere around 50 million pounds, (N23 billion) for a period of  over  five and half to six years.  It is split between 12 million pounds for procurement and 34 million pounds on implementation activities; with the rest being used for evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme.”

He called on the government of the target states to support the programme through timely release of domestic financing. He also enjoined the target communities to effectively utilize the support the programme provides for them.

The minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the malaria burden in Nigeria is still high,  adding  that in 2017,  the country accounted for 25% of malaria cases globally making it one of the highest burden countries in the world.

Represented by Mrs Modupe Chukwuma of the ministry, the minister said the launch of SUNMAP-2 will provide a forum for officials of government through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), States Malaria Elimination Programme (SMEP) and other ministries and partners to initiate discussion on how best to integrate activities and funds to achieve harmonization and synergy that would enhance better results  for the  programme.

Team leader, SUNMAP-2 project, Dr. Lola Mabogunje, said the programme targets a sustainable project beyond 2024, increased domestic funding for malaria and reduced out-of-pocket expenditure for malaria, among others.

Professor Olugbenga  Mokuolu, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Ilorin, and the  National Malaria Technical Director said the programme offers opportunity to redirect the malaria control efforts in the country because the country has in the last two years recorded setbacks in malaria control due to inadequate resources.

He added that beyond government, Nigerians need to contribute their quota in the area of environmental management, testing and use of Artemisin-based Combination Therapy (ACTs).

The Malaria programme Manager, WHO Nigeria office, Dr Linda Ozo , said the SUNMAP-2 programme will help change the malaria narrative in the country, adding that the country is not where it ought to be in resources mobilization to tackle the disease.

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