This was disclosed by the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar who further said that while 174 million people at risk of the infection, Malaria accounts for over 60 per cent of patients visits to hospitals, adding that the disease is responsible for 11 per cent maternal and 30 per cent child mortality, especially among children under five years.
The Governor who was speaking on Thursday at the flagging off of the distribution of 3.8 million Long Lasting Insecticide bed Nets to households across the state (LLIN) stated that “As you are aware, Bauchi state had its last campaign in 2014. More than 1.5 million nets were distributed to every household to sustain the pace achieved in previous campaigns and improve areas of net access, retention and utilisation.”
He added that “Today, the state government is officially flagging off the campaign and will proceed with the commencement of the distribution in 1,425 distribution points spread across the 323 wards of the 20 local governments of the state. A total of 8,550 distribution team members will work actively to distribute more than 3.8 million nets in five days.”
While commending the partners and United State President, Malaria Initiative for working tirelessly with the state government in ensuring a smooth implementation of the campaign, the Governor urged the beneficiaries to utilise the bed nets well, warning that the government will not condone the selling of the nets in the market.
In his address, the Country Representative of the U.S President Initiative for Malaria, (PMI), Dr Mark Maire, said that the United States Government has provided nearly $50 million foreign assistance to Nigeria since 2011 to prevent malaria.
He further said that malaria was the leading cause of deaths of pregnant women and under-five children
noting that the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is supporting Bauchi State to distribute 3.8 million LLIN for the 2018 campaign.
Mark Marie also said that the sum of $7.7 million was provided to the state for the 2018 LLIN campaign which distribution will commence in all the 20 local government areas of the state this Saturday adding that the US government also provided logistics assistance worth $2 million for the campaign in Bauchi, saying it was the largest investment from the US government to State.
He then disclosed that since 2011, the US government has spent $40 million in foreign assistance to Nigeria to control the spread of the disease, with Bauchi is one of the states that benefited from the gesture pointing out that 50 per cent of the gesture goes to distribution of LLIN and medicine to pregnant women and under-five children to control malaria, adding that others go for advocacy, training of health workers .
Mark Maire then concluded that malaria is the leading cause of death of pregnant women and children saying sleeping inside the insecticide treated nets was the best way to prevent malaria.