The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed a 13.5 million euro grant agreement that will intensify efforts to provide families with mosquito nets and improve the diagnosis and treatment of malaria in Niger.
Malaria is a major cause of high child mortality in Niger. One in every eight children that are born dies before reaching five years of age; there are also 650 maternal deaths for every 100,000 births.
This new and additional funding, the first to be signed since early 2011, will finance the procurement of: 1.65 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets; 4.69 million rapid diagnostic kits for malaria; and 1.49 million doses of artemisinin-based combination therapies. This grant will be implemented by Catholic Relief Services as Principal Recipient, in close collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program.
The signing of this funding follows the restructuring of the grant portfolio after financial irregularities were discovered, leading to an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General. Risk mitigation measures put in place include use of pooled procurement for all core health products, appointment of an international fiscal agent and a widening of the scope of the Local Fund Agent’s role.
“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,” said Lelio Marmora, the Global Fund\’s Department Head for Africa and the Middle East.
The mosquito nets will be handed out to the population in 2 of the country’s 8 geographical regions in a mass distribution campaign.