Nigeria to secure $300 million loan to finance national malaria strategy

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Mosquito used to illustrate the story.www.riverside.il.us]

As part of efforts to eliminate malaria in Nigeria, the Federal Government will be securing $300 million in new financing from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and African Development Bank.

According to a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the commitment was made known on Friday during the African Leaders Malaria Alliance on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018.

The meeting which held in Tanzania secured the commitment of 53 world leaders to halve malaria across the Commonwealth within the next five years.

The commitment followed this week’s Malaria Summit, where leaders from malaria-affected countries, businesses, donors and the international community made new commitments and urged leaders to get ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’.

According to the statement, the commitment from the Commonwealth has the potential to prevent 350 million malaria cases and save 650,000 lives. 90 per cent of global malaria cases and deaths occur on the African continent and the impact of this renewed focus to eliminate malaria will be felt across the continent.

Nigeria will be using the money as part efforts to elevate malaria on the national priority list.

An additional $18.7 million to was also pledged to leverage $37 million from the Global Fund to distribute 15 million mosquito nets and to support the local manufacture of essential malaria commodities.

Aside Nigeria, 11 other African countries in the Commonwealth affirmed their determination to eliminate malaria. These countries include, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Gambia, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Barnabas Dlamini, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of eSwatini representing the King Mswati III and Chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance said Africa as a continent has made significant gains against malaria.

He said the progress has been the result of the sustained commitment from African leaders and the international community but the gains made are fragile and there is no room for complacency.

“Failure to sustain and indeed strengthen our efforts will have humanitarian effects as well as cost implications for our respective countries.

“The Commonwealth has made a strong statement that it is ready to beat malaria. Let’s recommit to work together as governments, development partners, the private sector and communities to eliminate malaria for good. Zero malaria starts with me and with you,” he said

In addition, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, in line with the African Union’s (AU) Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB and Eliminate Malaria by 2030, committed to supporting member countries to introduce and strengthen the use of national and sub-national malaria scorecards and action trackers, with robust community engagement.

It also aims to support increased domestic funding from both the public and private sector; and to continue its work with Heads of State and Government in Africa to monitor progress towards this goal.

As for international commitments, the UK Government reaffirmed its commitment to spend £500 million a year through 2020-2021 and an extra £100 million commitment to the Global Fund.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also announced an additional $1 billion through 2023 to fund research and development to reduce the burden of malaria.

In addition, the Foundation pledged £50 million in matching funds against the UK Government’s additional £100 commitment to the Global Fund.

Malaria is estimated to cost African economies $12 billion a year in direct losses. It is also estimated to cost the UK over £700,000 in lost trade.

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