UK DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND MALARIA CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCE FIVE-YEAR PROGRAMME TO STRENGTHEN MALARIA CONTROL DELIVERY IN NIGERIA11 July 2008
London, Friday 11 July: Today, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Malaria Consortium officially announced a five year DFID funded programme that will support and strengthen the Government of Nigeria's national efforts to control malaria.
The large-scale programme, to be initially implemented in 12 States, addresses the urgent needs of the 140 million Nigerians living in a country which has the second greatest malaria burden in the world. Despite being preventable and treatable, malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. It accounts for 25% of under-5 mortality, 30% of childhood mortality, and 11% of maternal mortality (1).
Despite having the largest, most vibrant commercial sector in Africa and the country's strong commitment to controlling malaria, coverage of malaria preventive and treatment interventions is among the lowest on the continent; this is compounded by an overstretched public health system which offers limited access and insufficient quality of care.
The programme relies on a strong and inclusive partnership comprising of DFID, the Nigerian Government, international organisations, community and faith based organisations, research institutions, and commercial sector partners. The programme moves away from social marketing and introduces a new way of involving the commercial sector by using a local "public health private market" approach that embraces a whole market philosophy and supports the commercial sector rather than suffocating it. This approach draws on the diversity of civil society partners and existing marketing organisations with experience and success in promoting and distributing not just health products but also other consumer goods.
The programme combines capacity development, technical assistance, harmonisation of the malaria control interventions and policies, direct support for malaria service delivery, and collaboration and synergising of other existing malaria programmes. By applying a comprehensive and multisectorial approach to malaria control, the programme aims to substantially reduce the huge burden of malaria in Nigeria.
Sunil Mehra, Malaria Consortium Executive Director said: "We commend DFID's decision to allow malaria services to be competitively and globally tendered, promoting transparency and best value for UK's tax payers. We are therefore delighted to have been chosen to implement a new generation approach to supporting the public and local commercial sector for longer term sustainability, and ultimately to preventing needless deaths and suffering."
Notes for Editors:
* (1) Source: http://www.who.int/countries/nga/areas/malaria/en/index.html
For more information about the programme, please visit http://www.malariaconsortium.org/ or contact our head office to speak to someone.