Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As part of its comprehensive effort to control malaria across Nigeria, the United States government has revealed that 4.2 million people in over 4,000 communities in Cross River State have benefited from $5.7 million mosquito-treated nets in the last two months.
It said that the nets were distributed in all local government areas in the state.
According to a statement issued on Monday by the US embassy, it said that the donation of the treated bed nets was done through the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and jointly implemented by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The statement read: “The United States reached more than 4.2 million people in over 4,000 communities in Cross River State with 2.3 million long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) over the last two months as part of its comprehensive effort to control malaria across Nigeria.
“To complement the bed net donation, PMI provided an additional $1.2 million for logistics, including transportation of the nets, community mobilization, and training of workers charged with their distribution.”
The statement added that more than half of US funding for malaria goes into procuring and distributing insecticide treated bed nets, malaria diagnostic kits and malaria medicines.
It noted that the United States government also supports advocacy and mobilisation to encourage community members to sleep under the bed nets every night, and trains health workers to test for malaria before treatment.
The United States government said it believed that investing in the health of the Nigerian people could command great economic returns in terms of work productivity and overall quality of life.
It said that since 2011, it had invested more than $450 million to control malaria in Nigeria including distribution of nearly 34 million mosquito nets.
The US added that this has resulted in a 36 per cent reduction in malaria incidence among children under age five, according to the Malaria Indicator Survey.
The USAID/Nigeria Mission Director Stephen Haykin was quoted to have said: “In our partnership to fight malaria, we encourage all Nigerians and especially parents and guardians to acquire bed nets and use them regularly.
“Bed net use benefits individuals, families and communities.”