A new UK backed
campaign to rid Nigeria of malaria and distribute over 63 million
lifesaving bednets launched its second phase in the north of the
Malaria is a wholly preventable disease and sleeping under a
bednet is a simple and effective way of avoiding infection. With
support from several donors, including £50 million in UKaid, two
insecticide treated bed nets will be distributed to every Nigerian
household by December 2010, reaching over 30 million homes and
saving thousands of lives.
The malaria crisis in Nigeria is severe. Nigeria accounts for
over a quarter of all cases of malaria in Africa and it is having
a damaging impact on the country's economy. It is
estimated that the inability of people to work due to malaria
illness costs Nigeria at least one billion dollars each year.
Nigeria has recently started a significant effort to combat
malaria backed by the UK Department for International Development,
USAID, The World Bank, The Global Fund and UNITAID/ UNICEF. The
initial phase of the Kano campaign in May distributed 2.1 million
long lasting insecticidal nets. This second phase will involve the
distribution of a further 2 million nets to 1 million households.
The Department for International Development, through its £50m
Support to National Malaria Programme (SuNMaP) project, is helping
to coordinate and deliver the Nigerian bednet distribution effort;
as well as providing 6 million UK funded nets.
The campaign involves:
- 331 lorries transporting nets to 1500 distribution points
- Training 9,500 volunteers to visit an estimated 2 million
households to tell them about the campaign and how they can claim
- Town criers announcing the delivery of the nets to their
- Community leaders educating people of the
importance of hanging the nets every day;
broadcasts promoting the benefits of the nets; and
Drama groups performing sketches outlining the dangers of malaria
and demonstrating how to hang the nets.
International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, said:
"It is shocking that half of all Nigerians will become
infected with malaria each year. Over 30% of childhood deaths and
11% of maternal deaths in Nigeria are caused by malaria ? but what
is worse is that these are preventable deaths.
"All too often families can't afford the
bednets that could save their lives. That is why the UK is proud
to support this campaign to ensure that every Nigerian family can
sleep under the protection of a bednet."
UK?based Malaria Consortium, the world's leading
not?for?profit organisation dedicated to both the prevention and
treatment of malaria, manages SuNMaP. Executive director, Sunil
"Malaria is the leading cause of death for
children in Africa. It is shameful that people, and especially
children, are still suffering and dying from this disease.
SuNMaP is a crucial component of the Nigerian
Government's efforts to cut malaria deaths in the
country. This initiative will provide support all the way down to
the household level to help beat this disease and reduce the
appalling impact malaria has had on families and their
The Department for International
Development (DFID) has led the UK's programme to tackle
malaria around the world. By 2010 the UK will have met the Prime
Minster's pledge to deliver 20 million bednets?
preventing some 110,000 child deaths and DFID's funding
to the Global Fund has helped deliver 74 million malaria treatments.
Last month, the Government's poverty White Paper set out
a range of measures to help combat malaria. The plans include
providing a further 30 million bed nets, the development of
life?saving new treatments and new funding to increase access to
For further information please contact the DFID press office on
020 7023 0600
DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the
British Government's fight against world poverty. Find
out more about the major global poverty challenges and get the
facts on what DFID is doing to fight them: http://www.dfid.gov.uk
Department for International Development