By Emeka Nwokocha
As another phase of free malaria treatment is set to begin in Delta State, following an approval by Global Fund for ATM for a three-year continuation for the Malaria Grant in Nigeria, Civil Society in Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) has begun a courtesy visit to the Chairmen of eight local government areas in the state where the free Malaria treatment will be dispensed.
On Thursday 8 and Friday 9 April, 2021, the Programme Officer at ACOMIN, Mr. Austin Uwede and his team visited the Chairmen of Patani, Isoko South, and Ughelli North local government Councils: Hon. Isaac Aguanah, Hon. Christian Iteire, and Hon. Godwin Adode and briefed them on the free malaria treatment and the role ACOMIN would play in ensuring the project is implemented successfully.
Mr. Austin Uwede, said that the Malaria Grant otherwise known as NFM3 would run from 2021-2023, and free malaria treatment would be dispensed in the 13 Global Fund Malaria States, including Delta State. He added, “the grant is being implemented through a consortium led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), whose other members include The Malaria Consortium, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and Society for Family Health (SFH).”
Uwede noted that the last phase of the project – NFM2 had been implemented in the 13 Global Fund Malaria States in Nigeria, including Delta State.
Continuing, he said, “the implementation of the Community-led Monitoring components of the project is being undertaken by ACOMIN to make certain that implementation of the project is successful by ensuring accountability for commodity utilization, accountability for value and quality of service provision, accountability for budgetary appropriation, and accountability for human resource deployment.”
Saying further, Uwede said that health facilities in the local government areas would be used for dispensing of the free malaria treatment. He sought cooperation of the Chairmen to ensure the objective of the project is achieved.
His words, “It is important that we inform your good offices about this project (free malaria treatment) and how it will be implemented in communities. We are requesting your cooperation to ensure this project meets its objective. When we visit the field (health facilities) and observe some lapses, we will come to you for assistance. We also need the cooperation of the communities where the free malaria treatment will be dispensed. We want the communities to take ownership of the project by intervening when they observe any lapses in service delivery at the facilities.
Continuing, Uwede said, “the members of the communities should monitor the project and ask questions when they observe anything that could jeopardize the objective of the project. We call on the community leaders to be part of the project. On that note, we will strengthen community participation in the project by holding meetings with members of the community and the officers/personnel in charge of the facilities so that all of us will be in the same page to make this project a huge success.
In his responses, Chairman of Patani LGA., Hon. Isaac Aguanah, thanked ACOMIN for its role in ensuring the project records huge successful when it kicks off, even as he commended Global Fund for ATM for extending the malaria Grant in Nigeria for three years, describing it as a welcome development.
His words, “I want to thank you for chosing Patani LGA as a beneficiary of this project. It has been my prayer that God uses my tenure to touch the lives of my people. Their health and general well-being is a priority to me. I will give you all the support you need. It is my desire to have all the communities captured in this project because when my people are healthy and happy, I will be happy too. I see my office as an opportunity to serve my people diligently with love, and give them a sense of belonging.”
ln a similar vein, the Chairman of Isoko North LGA., Hon. Christian lteire appreciated ACOMIN for its role in ensuring the free malaria treatment commences without any hitch. He acknowledged the threat mosquito poses to humans, even as he lamented that dirty environment breeds mosquitos and makes malaria very common in our communities.
He said, “we will provide you the assistance you need to ensure the free malaria treatment is dispensed in our communities without any obstacle.
Continuing he said, “we will partner with you, we will provide you a comfortable environment to carry out this project for the benefit of our people.”
The Chairman of Ughelli North LGA., Hon. Godwin Adode, commended ACOMIN and Global Fund for ATM for sustaining the free malaria treatment, even as he looked forward to the commencing of the project. He assured of his assistance to ACOMIN and other stateholders to ensure the project is successful.
Other officers on the team of ACOMIN were Hon. Peter Anighoro, and Mrs. Jane Isiavwe.