U.S. donates Insecticide-Treated Bed nets to Prevent Malaria

The Director U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael T. Harvey has announced the donation of nearly four million insecticide-treated bed nets to Cross River and Ebonyi states as part of the U.S. government’s commitment through the President’s Malaria Initiative and USAID to prevent malaria in Nigeria.

The cost of the bed nets, including transportation from the factory to eventual households, is valued at 2.8 billion naira ($14.6 million). USAID said it will work closely with Nigeria’s National Malaria Elimination Program and states malaria elimination programs. Nine other states is set to also receive bed nets in the coming months.

USAID Director Harvey, said, “Bednets bring prevention directly into every Nigerian home. It is up to families to hang them, and sleep under them daily to protect themselves and the most vulnerable, especially pregnant women and children under five.”

An estimated 100 million malaria cases and about 300,000 deaths each year make Nigeria the country with the highest malaria burden worldwide.  Malaria also places a heavy burden on families and national health systems.  It adversely affects worker productivity, drains household incomes, hinders educational development, and perpetuates poverty.  The greatest burden of the disease usually falls on families who cannot afford the proper healthcare, especially those in rural areas.

U.S. government contribution for malaria prevention in Nigeria since 2010 has totaled 69 billion naira ($345 million)—benefiting more than 50 million Nigerians.  The contributions, together with those of other partners, have dramatically improved coverage of key malaria control interventions, including the use of treated bednets, indoor spraying, accurate diagnosis, and preventive treatment of pregnant women.

Ibrahim Olalekan is a media writer and specialist. His enormous task as journalist has earned him media space in some leading online newspapers. Aside being a seasoned journalist, Olalekan has keen interest in advocacy, rural development and politics. Olalekan is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, and can be reach via: ibrahimolalekan001@yahoo.com or +2348101988313 and @lekanpaul