By Asma’u Ahmad
The Enugu State Executive Council has approved N36 million as commitment fee to participate in a World Bank-sponsored programme aimed at reducing malaria in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Fintan Ekochin, made this known in Enugu on Tuesday at a news conference. Ekochin said 12 other states in the country were selected for participation in the programme, powered by the World Bank through the National Malaria Elimination Programme.
The commissioner said that the programme was significant for the state as it would be the first time the state would be benefitting from an international funding for malaria in recent times.
He added that “at the inception of this administration in 2015, the state had no international partner or donor agency funding for malaria. “The burden of malaria in the state had been fought with funds available in the state and this was in stark contradiction to whatother states enjoyed in malaria eradication efforts.”
Ekochin said the current administration in Enugu State put in much effort from 2017 culminating in this success story. He added that the state government was able to meet all conditions necessary for participation in the programme but one, which was a commitment fee.
He said “to qualify for funding therefore, a commitment fee of N36 million was required and that was what the council just approved. “With this approval, we have now met all the conditions and we are sure to make the nomination list because not all the selected states will be funded. With the programme, the state can go into active
malaria control in a multi-disciplinary approach.”
The commissioner said that the programme would involve distribution of free mosquito nets, as well as subsidised malaria treatment for children under five years, pregnant women and adults. He noted that the programme was expected to commence in the first quarter of 2018 if the state was selected.