World Bank loans Nigeria 300 million dollars to fight malaria

The Federal Government has assessed a Credit Facility to the tone of 300 million dollars to support the malaria elimination programme in 13 states of the federation.

This was revealed by the Coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Perpetua Uhomobhi at the second April ministerial bi-monthly media briefing on COVID-19 and the health sector organized by the Africa Health Budget Network, (AHBN).

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Speaking during the briefing which was presided over by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Mrs. Uhomobhi explained that the Facility was in two parts, with the World Bank Credit put at 200 million dollars, while that of the Islamic Bank was 100 million dollars.

She also said as directed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the ministry has set up an End Malaria Counsel – to be chaired by the founder of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote – in line with the recommendation of the  African Malaria Leaders Alliance mandate for high burden malaria countries.

“The President himself has directed that in line with the Africa Malaria leaders alliance mandate for high malaria burden countries that we set up an End Malaria Council in Nigeria, we have set up the Council and we have approached the Founder of the Dangote Foundation, who is also global malaria Ambassador and he has agreed to Chair the Council which is comprised of several eminent Nigerians.

“Nigeria has also assessed a World Bank Credit Facility, a loan to support the eleven plus two additional states that before now didn’t have any external donor support for malaria programme implementation across all interventions.”

Read: USAID applauds nurses, midwives others in malaria fight

Also speaking at the briefing, the Director of Ports Health, Dr. Geoffrey Okatubo explained that vigilance at various entry points across the country have been heightened following the resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai China.

Okatubo also spoke on the measures adopted to ensure safety of Nigerian pilgrims who are visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Lesser Hajj.

“The Federal Government recently opened four land borders in the country and these are Idiroko in Ogun state, Kamba in Kebbi, Ikom in Cross River and Jibia in Katsina state Port Health Services workers have been deployed to screen passengers who come in through these land borders including the four others had earlier been reopened.

“The Federal Ministry of Health has swung into action to ensure that the ministry collaborates with the National Hajj Commission to meet up with all necessary guidelines and requirements as outlined by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to ensure that all our pilgrims are safe while embarking on this religious obligation.” It was also explained that Nigeria has just completed the required World Health Organisation (WHO) training for the local vaccine production and that all was on course towards realizing the plan for local vaccine manufacturing in the country.

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