The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria delivered 14.7 million malaria treatment doses and 7.1 million insecticide-treated nets to Nigerians in 2020, an official has said.
This is contained in a statement issued by USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Dr Anne Patterson, in Awka on Friday.
Patterson stated that the deliveries were made to health facilities and communities through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
She further stated that 8.2 million of the 14.7 million malaria treatment doses were for pregnant women and children.
“The PMI said that in 2020, despite the constraints of COVID-19 pandemic, it also distributed 7.1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and provided 7.2 million rapid test kits.
“PMI trained 9,300 health workers to properly diagnose and treat patients for early detection of the disease.
“Led by the USAID and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PMI works with partner organisations to benefit more than 41 million people across Nigeria,” she added.
Patterson explained that the use of ITNs was one of the most effective measures to prevent malaria.
She added that since 2010, PMI had supported Nigeria in the distribution of more than 61 million bed nets, now in use in 43 per cent of Nigerian households.
She stated that the figure was up from just 23 per cent at the start of the initiative.
“Malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children in Nigeria.
“During pregnancy, the disease can pose a life-threatening risk to both mothers and babies. “Malaria also causes adults and children to miss work and school, contributing to economic hardship.
“We are pleased to see that our partnership with Nigeria has had clear success and will continue this support with proven methods of prevention and treatment against malaria.
“Yet, we need bold action to stop COVID-19 from holding us back. The United States is proud to partner with Nigeria to continue the fight,” Patterson stated.