SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Global Fund signs $18.1 million malaria grant with Niger

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Tuesday that it signed a $18.1 million grant agreement with Niger to strengthen efforts against malaria.

The agreement will provide more families with mosquito nets and strengthen the diagnosis and treatment of malaria in Niger. The funding will allow for the procurement of 1.65 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets, 1.49 million doses of artemisinin-based combination therapies and 4.69 million rapid diagnostic kits for malaria.

The grant will be implemented by Catholic Relief Services, which will collaborate closely with the National Malaria Control Program.

The signing of the grant comes after the restructuring of the grant portfolio following the discovery of financial irregularities. New risk mitigation measures were put in place, including the use of pooled procurement for all core health products, a widening of the scope of the local fund agent's role and the appointment of an international fiscal agent.

"We are very happy that with the risk mitigation measures that we have in place we are now able to bring new funding to Niger," Lelio Marmora, the Global Fund's department head for Africa and the Middle East, said.

Mosquito nets will be handed out in two of Niger's eight geographical regions as part of a mass distribution campaign.

Malaria is one of the top causes of high child mortality in Niger. One in every eight children born in Niger dies before reaching the age of five. The country also experiences 650 maternal deaths for each 100,000 births.