22 April 2015
NIAMEY, Niger – Ahead of World Malaria Day on 25 April, Niger and the Global Fund partnership strengthened their response against malaria with a new mass campaign to distribute mosquito nets aimed at achieving universal coverage in Niger for the first time.
The financial resources provided through the Global Fund come from many donors, represented today by the United States and France. The initiative brings together a broad partnership including UNICEF, WHO, the National Malaria Control Program under the Ministry of Public Health and Catholic Relief Services, working for the people of Niger.
Under the initiative, the Global Fund partnership has financed approximately 8 million long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets, of which 1.5 million nets were already distributed in 2014. In a second phase, 6.5 million long lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets will be distributed in a campaign that will be officially launched on May 16. The Government of Niger has committed to provide an additional 2 million nets with the aim of attaining universal coverage in the country.
Niger has made significant progress in reducing child mortality among children under the age of five, from 327 per 1,000 in 1990 to 104 in 2013, according to the 2014 UN inter-agency working group Child Mortality report.
However, malaria remains a major public health problem in Niger, where about one third of patients visiting health facilities suffer from the insect-borne disease. Nearly the entire population of 18.5 million people live in malaria endemic areas, and pregnant women and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable groups.
“Thanks to the efforts of the state and of the many partners in the fight against malaria, the mass campaign for distribution of LLINs organized mainly with the support of the Global Fund is a real opportunity and a chance for Niger to converge towards the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to malaria during this year," said Dr. Mélé Djalo, President of Niger’s Country Coordinating Mechanism.
“The Global Fund is thrilled to be supporting the government’s efforts to provide universal coverage of LLINs for the first time in Niger’s history,” said Tina Draser, the Global Fund’s Regional Manager for the Western Africa Team. “Because of the support of all of the partners gathered here today, this mass campaign is well-positioned to achieve impact and even further reductions in under-five child mortality.”