The United States Government through the Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria, on Friday, handed over 4.5 million bed nets to Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi for distribution to residents.
The bed nets valued at $13.5 million is to be distributed through a mass campaign scheduled to take place today (Saturday) within the thirty-three local government areas of the state.
The United States Government also provided additional $4.5 million to support logistics of the campaign, including transportation of the bed nets, community and household mobilization, as well as necessary training.
Rick Niska who was representative to the Mission Director of the USAID handed over the nets to the governor, according to an email made available by the US embassy.
It said that the nets and the support for distribution were a gift from the people of the United States to the people of Oyo State.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony marking the formal handover, the USAID Mission Director Representative congratulated the state on what it described as its ambition, initiative and dedication in undertaking to launch the state-wide mass distribution of bed nets.
It quoted Ajimobi as having pledged the support of his government to overcome malaria in the state.
It said, “Malaria is one of the leading killers of children and a leading cause of illness in Nigeria, particularly during the rainy season when the mosquito population increases.
“Since 2011, the U.S. government has provided $419 million to control malaria in Nigeria. Over 50 percent of U.S. funding for malaria goes into procuring and distributing insecticide treated bed nets, malaria diagnostic kits, and malaria medicines.
“The U.S. also supports advocacy and community mobilization to sleep under the bed nets every night, training of health workers, and test for malaria before treatment.”