The Federal Government has signed an agreement for a $225m grant with Global Fund to eradicate malaria in Nigeria.
The money would be disbursed as follows: Society for Family Health ($99m); National Malaria and Vector Control Programme and additional ($68m); $50m for bed nets, while the Federal Government will provide $10m counterpart funding for the project.
In his speech late Friday, in Abuja, during the signing ceremony, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the Global Fund interventions over the years had reversed the large number of morbidity and mortality previously recorded for malaria in Nigeria.
He said that the deadly scourge had significantly contributed to Nigeria’s poor health indices.
Chukwu said, “The innovations in the grant included the provision of free as well as subsidised malaria treatments to the population at risk of malaria, mass distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets as part of a planned catch-up phase, introduction of prompt malaria diagnosis using rapid diagnostic test kits and several cross cutting interventions such as behaviour change communications, health system strengthening and community systems strengthening activities.”
The Deputy Executive Director of the Global Fund, Dr. Debrework Zewdie, on the occasion, said Nigeria was identified as one of the 20 “high impact” countries which had made it to receive special attention from the fund.
Stressing that health workers in the public and private sectors would also be trained with the grants, she said that funds would be reserved to raise awareness about the disease in Nigerian communities.
On his part, the Chairman of Friends Africa, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said Global Fund had been extremely effective in mobilizing billions of dollars towards the fight against the three pandemics of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.