Nigeria: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: Dr. Sherifah Ibrahim/MSH}Trained community drug distributors administer preventative treatment for malaria to children under five living in a camp for internally displaced persons in Zamfara State, Nigeria.Photo credit: Dr. Sherifah Ibrahim/MSH

Anka, a rural community in northern Nigeria, is home to people displaced by violence and conflict in the state of Zamfara. A nutrition crisis looms large and the rain was a welcome relief this year, as displaced persons and villagers were able to produce their food. However, this respite is dampened by the swarms of mosquitoes that breed in water ponds and farmlands and bring malaria—an unwelcome prospect for all, especially for children under 5 who are already undernourished.

{Monita Baba Djara}Monita Baba Djara

Help us celebrate MSH's 50th birthday! We were incorporated in Massachusetts, USA, on May 21, 1971 and have since then worked in over 150 countries. To celebrate our 50th, we invite you to follow our Go To The People series, sharing stories and reflections from current and former MSHers, partners, and local health leaders worldwide, as they reflect on the impact we’ve made together on the lives of individuals, communities, and in global health. Working together, let's shape the next 50 years for greater health impact.

A laboratory scientist uses a microscope for a malaria test in a PMI-S supported health facility. Photo credit Oluwatobiloba Akerele/MSH

Two frontline health workers, Elizabeth Adeleke and Biodun Akande, speak about their work in engaging the private sector to support malaria elimination in NigeriaIn Nigeria, over 60% of health care services are delivered through the private sector. Successful malaria control efforts in Nigeria, which account for 25% of global malaria cases, will only be achieved with the successful engagement of private sector actors.Recognizing this, The U.S.

 {Photo credit: Dr. Stanley Ugah}Mrs. Folake Ajayi takes her IPTp while being observed by health care workers during ANC at PHC Oniyanrin.Photo credit: Dr. Stanley Ugah

Malaria is common among pregnant women in Oyo State, Nigeria, which increases the risk of maternal anemia, low birth weight, premature delivery, stillbirth, and death of infants. Although intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) helps prevent these adverse effects for pregnant women and their unborn children, its uptake in the state is poor. Indeed, IPTp uptake across health facilities in Oyo State was less than 50% from April 2019 to February 2020, when the U.S President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) project started supporting the state.

A health care worker counsels pregnant women on the importance of preventing malaria during pregnancy in Ishelu, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Photo credit: Oluwatobiloba Akerele/MSH

An estimated 76 percent of Nigeria’s population are at risk of malaria by living in high transmission areas.  Nigeria accounts for 27 percent of malaria cases worldwide and the highest number of deaths (24 percent) due to malaria in 2019 (World Malaria Report, 2020).  The U.S. President's Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) activity managed by USAID recognizes that “it takes a village” to achieve a malaria-free Nigeria. PMI-S is implemented in eight states -- Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi,  Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, and Zamfara -- and works with health officials at all levels to improve quality and access to services, as well as reduce under-five and maternal mortality.  Here are five ways USAID is making a difference in Nigeria through PMI-S.

A group of PMI-S and NMEP stakeholders gather to review the e-toolkit.

Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, now exceeding 200 million, and is home to 25% of the world’s malaria burden. Over the years, donors and implementing partners working with the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP) in Nigeria have had difficulty accessing strategic documents required to effectively implement malaria programs.

Adolescents and a few MSH staff pose for the camera after the Adolescent and Young People Program and Symposium held in Abuja, Nigeria. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In commemoration of World Aids Day 2019, MSH, through the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, joined in a week of activities hosted by Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS and the Federal Ministry of Health. In collaboration with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the government launched the “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” (U=U) campaign on November 25—a strategic campaign to help achieve zero new infections and reduce stigma for Nigerians living with HIV.

Omena Eghaghara, Supply Chain Management Specialist for the CaTSS project, visits with Mayowa. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

By Omena Mimi EghagharaOmena Mimi Eghaghara is a Supply Chain Management Specialist for the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, based in Kwara State, Nigeria. One September day in 2018, while providing supportive supervision to one of the CaTSS-supported facilities in Kwara state, I made the first of many calls to Mayowa, a 21-year-old medical student living with HIV. Mayowa was exhausted and losing hope.

 {Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH}MSH staff member, Christopher Ogar, verifies information from a HIV testing services register with facility staff at General Hospital Suleija in Niger state, Nigeria.Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

In Nigeria, home to the world’s second-largest HIV epidemic, successfully linking every person who tests positive for HIV to accessible and culturally appropriate care and support services is a big challenge.Gender and sociocultural norms can create barriers to linkage, particularly in northern states of Nigeria such as Kebbi, where some women need permission from their husbands to start treatment.

Story and photos by Aor IkyaaboMary John is a 47-year-old mother of two and a hair stylist by profession. She is also one of Nigeria’s mentor mothers — women who provide counseling and essential health education to other HIV-positive mothers in their communities. As a peer and mentor, she teaches these women about how they can prevent their babies from contracting HIV and keep themselves and their families healthy.Mary had been living with the virus for several years before she tested positive.

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