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Nigeria receives $300m to tackle malaria

 Nigeria has accessed the World Bank loan of $300 million to support 13 States in tackling malaria, which is one of the leading causes of death in the country.

The Coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Dr Perpetua Ohomoibhi made the disclosure at an event to mark the 2022 World Malaria day in Abuja.

Dr Ohomoibhi said the loan was necessary to ensure that the whole country was fully covered by the malaria intervention programme, noting that before now, the 13 States in question had no support for malaria programmes of their own.

The NMEP Coordinator also disclosed that an “End Malaria Council in Nigeria” has been set up in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to strengthen Advocacy towards resource mobilization and accountability for malaria programmes, in order to achieve a malaria-free Nigeria.

The WHO Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo said despite global efforts to end malaria, a report in 2021 estimated 228 million malaria cases, and over 600,000 deaths in 2020, with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for about 95% of the statistics.

Dr Mulombo, however, expressed pleasure with the production of malaria vaccines, which he described as “groundbreaking advancement in the development of new tools” to fight the disease, with the potential of saving millions of lives.

On his part, the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Ministry was working towards reducing mortality attributed to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 childbirths by 2025.

Reporting by Emmanuel Kutara; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor