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USAID Commits 90 Million USD To End Malaria In 8 States; Cross River State Among States Commended For Tremendous Efforts Alongside Others

US President Malaria Initiative is a U.S. Government initiative designed to drastically reduce malaria deaths and illnesses in target Countries in the sub-Saharan Africa with a long-term vision of a World without Malaria. PMI-S is aimed at reducing malaria mortality by one-third through Major interventions which includes; Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets, Case management including appropriate use of diagnostic tools and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), Intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women, Indoor residual spraying with approved insecticide, where appropriate, Seasonal malaria chemoprevention, where appropriate, etc.

At the Launch, the CRS Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu who is also the Chairman of all the Health Commissioners in Nigeria has on behalf of the Pro-health Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade thanked the USAID/PMI-S for their tremendous support and effort towards the fight against Malaria in Cross River state. In her words; “this initiative will bring positive impact in our dear State, We have a high prevalent rate of Malaria due to our rainforest environment. However the strong political will and the commitment of the government of Sen Prof Ben Ayade, has produce great results. a lot has been done and more still needs to be done if Malaria must be eradicated. CRS has began the enrollment of her citizens into the State’s Health Insurance Scheme with Malaria being a major part of the services that will be rendered to our people who register. Over 2.4 million Long lasting insecticide treated nets were distributed in 2019, management of malaria from diagnoses to testing and treatment are covered free of charge in most primary and secondary facilities in the state. Pregnant women get access to IPT anti malaria while we have continued to improve on our data to aid proper planning. There are gaps but PMI-s can help fill them!

“Let me reassure us of our State’s commitment to continue to collaborate with Partners and other relevant bodies to see that Malaria is eradicated. we’ll solicit for a flexible work plan to enable us address our State specific needs as well as a proper sustainability plan being made available to enable us continue to drive this initiative even beyond 5yrs. More facilities should be covered by PMIs in the state to improve access as we work to build a more resilient health system”

Dr Edu ended by commending USAID/PMI-S for all their efforts, support and synergy while commending their Staff in CRS for putting in their best in the fight against Malaria in the State as she once again on behalf of the CRSG rededicated the State’s commitment and readiness to join forces with PMI-S to end Malaria both in Nigeria and in CRS.

the Country Director of PMI-S Dr Abba Zakari Umar spoke on the objectives and project overview of the initiative which is aimed at improving the quality/access to comprehensive malaria case management, to improve data quality, interpretation and use, to improve drug based prevention/treatment approach and finally to improve on the existing health system. The initiative is in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, SPHCDA, Private sectors, SHIS, and Professional associations

Dr Anne E. Patterson the USAID/Nigeria Mission Director on her part outline the major challenges and effects of Malaria on our society today stating that the impact is mostly felt in Nigeria by poor households who lack access to treatment and medical services. “Knowing the effect and impact of this disease on the poor households in Nigeria who cannot access medical services, I want to reassure us that PMI-S will continue to synergize with the right partners and States to ensure that Malaria is being eradicated as am also confident that the new partnership will have a positive effect on the eradication of Malaria in Nigeria as over 61m LLINs have already been distributed across Nigeria since the inception of this initiative with over 43% households having these nets. More work will be done by USAID to improve the health care services of Nigerians” she stated.

Those who also declared their commitment/willingness to continue this fight were Prof Augustine Vincent Umoh, the Commissioner for Health Akwa Ibom State, Dr Joseph Ngbea, Commissioner for Health Benue State, Dr Daniel Umezuruike, Health Commissioner Ebonyi State, Pharm Ahmed Baba, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Victor Bella, Health Commissioner Oyo State, Dr Nimkong Lar Ndam, Plateau State Health Commissioner and Hon. Yahaya Muhammad Kanoma of Zamfara State while the exercise came to an end with the launching of the PMI-S Project by Dr Anne E. Patterson the USAID/Nigeria Mission Director after a powerful key note address was delivered by Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Program.

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