Ibadan – On August 16, 2021, the U.S. government, through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), donated five million bed nets to Nigeria’s Oyo State as part of a national campaign to provide enough nets for every Nigerian to be protected from the deadly disease every night.
The life-saving nets will reach all 33 local government areas in Oyo State. The bed net distribution is a critical component of the ongoing effort to end malaria in Nigeria, which results in nearly 96,000 deaths per year.
“Malaria is a leading cause of illness and death in Nigeria, particularly now at the peak of the rainy season when mosquito populations increase dramatically,” Ms. Celeste Carr, USAID’s Acting PMI Resident Advisor, said at the handover ceremony. “Conquering malaria will not happen overnight and it will only happen if we all work together.”
In addition to the nets, PMI also provided funding for logistics, including transportation and community mobilization carried out in partnership with the Oyo State government, which led the planning, coordination, and distribution effort. The total value of the contribution is near $18 million (₦7.4 billion).
The distribution will benefit more than eight million residents of Oyo State, providing at a minimum one net for every two people within each household.
“Malaria infection still poses a great threat to the social and economic wellbeing of the population of Oyo State,” Executive Governor His Excellency Engr. Seyi Makinde said at the ceremony. “We must therefore do everything possible to safeguard our people, particularly the vulnerable group of women and children with the help of stakeholders [including] the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative.”
The PMI program in Nigeria is jointly implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in coordination with the Government of Nigeria.
Since 2011, PMI has procured more than 61 million insecticide-treated nets as part of a $712 million overall contribution to malaria control in Nigeria. PMI also supports advocacy and mobilization to encourage members of the community to sleep under the bed nets every night, and trains health workers to test for malaria before treatment.