The Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA), with support from Access Bank Plc, launched the End Malaria Project in the Lagos, Ebonyi and Kaduna states of Nigeria.
CAMA and Access Bank commenced implementation of the project with an advocacy visit to government and community leaders in the Alimosho and Ikorodu local government areas (LGAs) of Lagos State to familiarize the community with the project and engage them in the process.
While educating local communities about malaria, CAMA Program Director, Ochuko Keyamo-Onyige, said, “Malaria is known to be endemic in the tropics, and is transmitted all over Nigeria, where it is estimated that up to 97% of the country’s population risk getting the disease. Transmission season lasts all year in Southern Nigeria, reaching its peak during the rainy season, thereby putting pregnant women and children under five with relatively lower levels of immunity at high risk. According to the 2020 World Malaria Report, Nigeria had the highest number of global malaria cases (27% of global malaria cases) in 2019 and accounted for the highest number of deaths (23% of global malaria deaths).”
Keyamo-Onyige further explained that CAMA has launched the End Malaria Project as an initiative to galvanize private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards reducing the incidence and prevalence of malaria in Africa by 2023, starting in Nigeria. The project was first announced in May 2021 when leading private sector organizations Access Bank, Chevron, Aliko Dangote Foundation and Vestergaard announced their support and financial commitments for the initiative, coming together to support action to tackle one of the world’s oldest pandemics.
Access Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said, “The End Malaria Project is designed in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” She reinforced the need for more private sector organizations to complement government efforts by investing in high-impact health interventions such as malaria and maternal health.
The health program, which took place in five communities in Lagos – the Ekoro, Omorogba, Adelabu, Omologede and Ijede communities of Alimosho and Ikorodu LGAs – saw CAMA’s implementing partner HACEY Health Initiative distribute 600 insecticide treated nets (ITNs), 1,250 malaria rapid diagnostic tests kits and 1,000 doses of antimalarial drugs to 12 primary health facilities in the two LGAs, and information, education and communication materials to over 3,000 households. The program also trained community mobilizers and volunteers to sensitize community members in their homes, shops, markets and parks using 4,000 educational materials including informational pamphlets, stickers and banners.
The Chairman of Ijede Local Council Development Area, Mrs. Motunrayo Gbadebo-Alogba, appreciated the organizers for bringing the intervention to Ikorodu and further emphasized the need for all community members, especially pregnant women, to sleep under insecticide treated nets. She reiterated her commitment to ensuring that all pregnant women and children under five have access to preventive treatment of malaria.
In Ebonyi state, the partners organized advocacy visits to the Executive Secretary of the Primary Health Care Board on September 4 to engage the Ministry of Health regarding the implementation of the End Malaria Project in selected communities and the donation of essential commodities to selected PHCs.
Trained community mobilizers and volunteers sensitized community members in their homes, shops, markets and parks using 4,000 informational materials including pamphlets, stickers and banners. The sensitization took place across seven communities in Ivo LGA – the Iyioji, Umuobo, Ihienta, Ndiachi, Ohakpu, Mgbede and Ishiagu communities, reaching over 2,000 community households. 500 ITNs, 1,250 malaria rapid diagnostic tests kits and 1,000 doses of antimalarial drugs were donated to 12 selected primary health facilities in the region.
In addition, a community malaria testing and net distribution exercise took place in the Hanwa and Zabi communities of Sanbo-Gari North LGA in Kaduna state. The initiative visited a total of 73 households. At the end of the community testing exercise, 451 people were tested including 171 pregnant women, with 281 testing positive for malaria and receiving free malaria treatment.
Executive Director of HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, expressed delight at the number of participating pregnant women. “It is no news that the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in several low- and middle-income countries is alarming, with about 34% of global maternal deaths occurring in Nigeria, as WHO records show that the MMR of Nigeria is 814 per 100,000 live births,” she said. “Hence, we are particularly grateful that 497 pregnant women were participants of malaria testing in the three states as part of the project.”
The End Malaria Project aims to increase the impact of these interventions in Lagos, Ebonyi and Kaduna states, and also expand to other endemic states in Nigeria. The program, which tested over 2,000 people for malaria, discovered that over 31.1% of total respondents were positive for the malaria parasite. The total number of individuals reached through community engagement in the three states was over 11,000. A total of 3,597 ITNs were distributed across the communities and PHCs, with 1,997 distributed across 15 communities and 1,600 to 30 PHCs across the states.
The project hopes to reach at least five million Nigerians through traditional media, a goal that has begun with appearances on radio and television programs.
The End Malaria Project is a three-year initiative to catalyze private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards malaria control, led by CAMA with support and financial commitments from Access Bank, Chevron, Aliko Dangote Foundation and Vestergaard. This initial pilot phase of the initiative was funded by Access Bank. Starting in Nigeria, the goal of the End Malaria Project is to save 50,000 lives by 2023 and to scale the approach to impact other countries across Africa.
To learn about getting engaged with the End Malaria Project, contact us at email@example.com.