Fighting malaria in Nigeria

Malaria is sadly a daily risk for cocoa-growing communities in Nigeria with the country contributing to 27% of malaria deaths globally[1].   Without treatment, the disease can be fatal with symptoms ranging from fever, muscular pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, anaemia, convulsions and coma. Cocoa farmers in Nigeria find themselves more susceptible to malaria due to its high prevalence in rural and agricultural areas.


This challenging picture in Nigeria is set against a yet more complex situation globally due to the enduring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed a disruption to the provision of malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, driving increased cases. In 2022, malaria cases globally reached 249 million, far above the number of cases the World Health Organisation estimated for the year, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and representing a five million increase on 2021 cases[2].


The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative is the U.S. government’s largest program in the fight against malaria and has been actively working across the African continent since 2006. Led by the United States Agency for International Development and co-implemented with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PMI works with government, private sector, multilateral, and civil society partners to save millions of lives from the infectious disease. 


PMI partnered with ofi for the first time in 2023, along with the Cross River State Government, to widen the distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).

"Despite being a preventable and treatable disease, a child still dies from malaria every minute.  No single government or entity can solve this problem alone. Public-private partnerships are needed now more than ever. The U.S. President's Malaria Initiative is proud of our partnership with ofi in Nigeria where we've worked together to reach remote farming households with lifesaving mosquito nets to support healthier families that can thrive." - Dr. David Walton, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator

The multi-organizational partnership distributed over half a million ITNs to 40,000 people, including residents in Obubra, Boki, Ikom and Etung, and of which 3,600 are farmer households within the ofi supplier network.


As well as distributing the ITNs, the collective works together to prevent malaria cases, also giving advice on net use and care, as well as education on how to avoid malaria. ITNs are one of the most effective ways to protect against malaria as they form both physical and chemical protection as the netting blocks the mosquito from biting skin while the insecticide coating also kills the mosquito.


The U.S. President's Malaria Initiative


[1] World Health Organization Malaria Fact Sheet

[2] World Health Organization World Malaria Report