The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded programme, Malaria Action Programme for States (MAPS), has built the capacity of 1,830 health workers for malaria prevention in Akwa Ibom.
The Head of MAPS in Nigeria, Mr Oluwole Adeusi, disclosed this in Uyo on Tuesday in a windup ceremony to mark the end of MAPS projects in the state.
Adeusi, also known as MAPS’ Chief of Party, said that the health workers were trained on Malaria case management, prevention and control in pregnancy.
Other areas of capacity building included malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (mRDT) and training of 25 laboratory scientists in the state on malaria microscopy.
Adeusi said that within the two years of MAPS existence in Akwa Ibom, over 95 per cent of confirmed uncomplicated malaria cases had been appropriately treated.
He said that MAPS in collaboration with other partners worked assiduously to improve adherence to national malaria guidelines, planning, budgeting and development of annual operational plan in the state.
Presenting an overview of MAPS implementation in Akwa Ibom, the State Coordinator, Mr Ime Akpan, said that the project started in March 2014.
Akpan said that the programme had implemented monthly data validation exercise from local government areas as well as monthly state meeting on monitoring and evaluation.
The coordinator said that the programme had trained 150 personnel on Health Management Information System (HMIS) and supported robust health data consultative meetings.
Akpan said that the programme had assisted the continuous distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets through ante natal clinics and during immunisation days.
He said that the greatest challenge he had while the programme lasted was the nonchalance attitude of some health workers.
In his welcome address, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, commended MAPS for living up to expectations by contributing to significant reduction of malaria burden in the state.
Ukpong noted that MAPS project had made positive impacts and promised to create conducive environment for partners to operate in the state.
“It is imperative that such gains be sustained for the achievement of the desired global targets,” Ukpong said.
He thanked the Federal Ministry of Health, the United States Government and other implementing partners for their efforts towards eliminating malaria in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
In his goodwill message, the State Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Augustine Umoh, noted that malaria was one illness that had defied preventive measures.
Umoh called on the Akwa Ibom government to evolve strategies that would sustain the gains recorded by MAPS in the state.
He also commended MAPS for partnering with the NMA in the state to train doctors on treatment and management of malaria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MAPS is a six-year programme spanning 2010 to 2016, implemented by FHI360 in partnership with Malaria Consortium (MC) and Health Partners International (HPI).
It has the major objective of increasing the quality, access and uptake of malaria control interventions in Nigeria by implementing and scaling up proven malaria control methods.