He said this when he led a delegation from the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and other malaria control partners on advocacy visit on the 2022 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) campaign to Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger in Minna on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Niger state government is collaborating with NMEP, Society for Family Health (SFH), Catholic Relief Service and Chemonics to distribute over 3.7 million ITN in the state.
Ehanire, represented by Mr Okefu Okoko, Head Integrated Vector Management Branch of NMEP of the Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed that Niger had 35 per cent malaria prevalence which was high because only 16 per cent of people were using nets in the state.
“A lot of work needs to be done, especially on net ownership and usage which is very low despite several efforts.
That is what we are working towards to improve upon in the state,” he said.
He said that Global Fund was supporting Niger state with N11.9 billion for three years to be used for different aspects of malaria intervention such as provision of drugs, nets, seasonal malaria chemo prevention and rapid malaria test kits.
He appealed to the state government to pay it’s counterpart funds of N1.7 billion to ensure that malaria parasite prevalence was reduced below 10 per cent before 2025 and reduce mortality.
Responding, Bello commended NMEP and other malaria control partners for donating over 3.7 million ITN which would go a way in reducing malaria prevalence in the state.
He described the 16 per cent usage of mosquito nets among residents of the state as very low and pledged to provide support needed for the net campaign to ensure that the everyone got access to nets for usage.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, Commissioner of Health in Niger, said about 3.7 million nets worth N4 billion had been allocated to the state for mass distribution.
In her remarks, Dr Jennifer Anyanti, Deputy Managing Director, SFH, said it was supporting Niger Government to distribute 3.7 million ITN to households and create awareness on the nets to ensure it got to everyone in the state.