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How Nigeria got over $1 billion from donors in four years to fight malaria

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NIGERIA received at least $1.147.5 billion in foreign aid to fight malaria between 2014 and 2017 as the country sought to achieve its National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP) 2014-2020.

Despite the foreign support and domestic funding to combat the scourge, the country remains the world’s most burdened with the disease.

The 2019 Malaria Programme Review (MPR) shows that the country failed to achieve the National Malaria Strategic Plan.

The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), a department under the Federal Ministry of Health, blamed the failure on the government’s failure to commit adequate funds to fight the disease.

On Tuesday, The ICIR reported how the country remained the world’s malaria capital, parading the highest cases and deaths, 74 years after launching its National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

Nigeria’s budgets for malaria between 2014 and 2017

The MPR notes that in 2016, the Federal Ministry of Health got N250 billion, out of which the government earmarked N750.5 million for its malaria programme. The amount represented 0.003 per cent of the health budget.


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In 2017, the ministry got N310 billion. The malaria programme got N284 million from the allocation, representing 0.0009 per cent of the health budget.

Similarly, in 2018, the Federal Government allocated N340 billion to the health sector. The National Malaria Eradication Programme got 103 million, being 0.0003 per cent of the health budget. That year, the actual release for NMEP was N15 million.

The malaria programme got the same allocation it received in 2018 a year after, being N103 million out of the N370 billion approved for the Federal Ministry of Health. The 2019 malaria budget to the health sector budget was 0,0003 per cent.

Therefore, the government approved N1.15 billion for the campaign against malaria out of N1.27 trillion allocated to the health sector in four years.

Foreign donations for Nigeria’s malaria programmes between 2014 and 2017

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The report further indicates that malaria programmes in the country are largely donor-funded.

In 2014, Global Fund, World Bank, USAID, DFID, UNICEF, WHO and UNITAID were the most significant contributors to malaria funding in Nigeria.

The 2019 Malaria Programme Review captured their donations in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Global Fund made the following donations within the period: (2014) $144.9 million, (2015) $372 million, (2016) $107.4 million, and (2017) $95.1 million. The donations totalled $719.4 million.

World Bank also gifted the nation $4.9 million in 2014 and $17.9 million in 2015 to support the malaria fight. Donations for the two years equalled $22.8 million.

Besides, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) doled out $73 million in 2014 and $75 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Agency donated $298 million in four years.

Similarly, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) supported the country with $89 million in 2014 and $2.9 million in 2015. The amounts equalled $91.5 million.

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Others are the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and UNITAID, which gave $8.8 million in 2014 and $7 million in 2015, totalling $15.8 million.

The report added: “The main funder for malaria in Nigeria is the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GF). GF’s investment in malaria increased from US$144.9m in 2014 to US$372.9m in 2015 and then declined to US$107.5m in 2016 and US$95.1 in 2017.

The sum of the funding from foreign donors totalled $1.147.5 billion.

Nigeria’s malaria burden

The 2021 World Malaria Report – the latest report on the disease – shows that Nigeria accounts for about 32 per cent (31.9) of deaths from malaria, the largest globally.

The report also showed that the country contributes about 27 per cent (26.8) of the global burden of the disease.

Checks by this newspaper showed that Nigeria accounted for at least a quarter of global cases and deaths from malaria in the past two decades. 

The situation in the country could stop the world from achieving a 90 per cent reduction in the global malaria burden by 2030, a strategy initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015.

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