UN anti-malaria official hails provision of 30 million mosquito nets for Nigeria

Mosquito nets, if properly used and maintained, can provide a physical barrier to hungry mosquitoes

26 October 2009 – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in its largest-ever malaria initiative, will provide 30 million long-lasting treated mosquito nets to Nigeria, a move applauded by the official tasked with spearheading United Nations efforts to tackle the disease.

The Global Fund’s initiative, announced last Friday, will provide the African nation with half the nets needed to cover its entire population.

The organization’s “unprecedented commitment to Nigeria, which bears one quarter of the global malaria burden, will protect millions of people from malaria and save over 100,000 lives,” said Ray Chambers, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria.

Last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for universal access to malaria-prevention tools by the end of 2010, with the ultimate target of mostly eliminating malaria deaths by 2015. At present, just over half of the endemic population has access to life-saving nets.

The Global Fund’s commitment to Nigeria announced last week is the single largest allocation towards meeting Mr. Ban’s goal of universal net coverage by next year, Mr. Chambers underscored.

Halting the incidence of malaria is one of the many health-related targets that make up the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the pledges world leaders made to try to slash poverty, hunger, preventable illness and a host of other socio-economic ills by 2015.

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