Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Federal Government has secured loan facilities from the World Bank, Islamic Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), in addition to the grants from The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the US Government President’s Malaria Initiative and the UK Agency for International Development to support states to fight malaria.
This, perhaps, was because the budgetary allocation to health sector that has been on decline from 5.6 percent in 2014 to 4.7 percent in 2019, which has significantly affected allocation to malaria response programmes.
Similarly, government said it was developing new malaria strategic plan that will ensure increased domestic resource mobilization, increased coverage with interventions, improved private sector engagement, among others.
National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Dr. Audu Bala Mohammed, who disclosed the information to journalists in Abuja, said the new malaria strategic plan is built on lessons learnt, new thinking in the malaria programme and key policy directions from the Federal Ministry of Health following the National Strategic Health Development Plan and experiences from programme implementers at national and sub-national levels.
He said: “Regrettably, Nigeria accounts for a quarter of the global burden of malaria as contained in 2019 World Malaria Report, which also confirmed that Nigeria recorded an estimated 53 million cases and 81,640 deaths.
Howbeit, Dr. Mohammed said that significant achievements have been recorded as regards the fight against malaria over the years, attributing the success to the commitment of stakeholders, international partners and direction provided by National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP 2014-2020).
He said: “I will like to appraise the success of the NMSP 2014-2020 by looking at performance by interventions. Our goal was to reduce the malaria burden to pre-elimination levels and bring malaria-related deaths to zero. Though, we couldn’t achieve all, but we succeeded in reducing malaria prevalence from 27 percent in 2015 and 23 percent in 2018.
“We also saw the emergence of areas/states with decreasing malaria burden below or equal to 15 percent. States like Lagos (2%), Imo (8%), Borno (10%), Rivers (11%), Bayelsa (13%), Benue (13%), Yobe (13%), Abia (14%), Nasarawa (14%) and Edo (15%).
“As regards vector management, we distributed 130.42 million long lasting insecticide treated net in 33 states and over 16.3 million were distributed through the routine system.
“Also, the percentage of pregnant women who slept under insecticide treated net increased from 17 percent (2013) to 49 percent (2015) and 58 percent (2018). And the percentage of children under five years who slept under insecticide treated net increased from 16 percent (2013) to 44 percent (2015) and 52 percent (2018).
“Similarly, the percentage of pregnant women who received IPT3 increased from 5.5 percent (2013 NDHS) to 16.6 percent (2018 NDHS). The cumulative number of children reached with the intervention from 2015–2019 was 12,583,379, and a total of 48,329,983 SMC treatments were provided in101 LGAs.
“Testing with either microscopy or RDT from both public and private health facilities increased slightly from 13 percent in 2015 (NMIS) to 14 percent in 2018 (NDHS). Also, access to ACTs has improved significantly to 52 percent (2018 NDHS) from 18 percent in 2013, even though our target is 100 percent.