1 February, 2012, Wanzala Bahati Justus
Nigerians are set to gain access to an effective combination treatment for malaria at an affordable cost.
This follows successful negotiations between the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) funded Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATHS2) and a variety of international and national stakeholders in Nigeria that took place during the last week of week of January 2011.
PATHS2, in collaboration with the United States based Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), will provide life-saving anti-malaria treatments to health facilities based largely in rural communities in the Nigerian states of Lagos, Kaduna, Jigawa, Enugu and Kano.
Under the agreement, [frax09alpha]a course of treatment will be provided at a lower cost of 60 Nigerian Nairas (approximately 25 pence in British Sterling). Initially the cost was almost 20 times hence the new prices make the drugs affordable to the poorest Nigerians.
ACTs are medicines recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the most effective malaria treatment. The Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) is a financing mechanism aimed at expanding access to affordable ACTs—Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies in poor nations.
Like many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 70 percent of all disease incidences in Nigeria is related to malaria. In 2008 alone, the World Malaria Report recorded 57,506,430 cases of malaria across Nigeria, that resulted into 225,424 fatalities.
Mike Egboh, PATHS2’s National Programme Manager said the agreement is a ground breaking one given that it involved the international community, state governments and Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers. He added that it will revolutionise malaria treatment in Africa’s most populous nation.
“It will have a significant long term positive impact on health care service delivery as it will strengthen the treatment of malaria and save tens of thousands of lives, particularly in rural areas of the five states in which PATHS2 is operating. It will also contribute to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality, as new mothers and their babies are particularly vulnerable to this dreadful disease,” he noted.
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