Japan boosts child survival in Nigeria with N940 Million - contribution targets Polio eradication, malaria prevention and routine immunization.
Abuja, Friday 20 June, 2008 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today received a grant of N940 Million (US $ 8.04 Million) for Child Survival programmes in Nigeria. Donated by the Government of Japan, the grant is for polio eradication, routine immunization and the prevention of malaria. The Exchange of Notes between H.E. Mr. Toshitsugu Uesawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, and Dr. Robert Limlim, UNICEF Representative ai, took place today at the UN House in the presence of Dr. Shehu Sule, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Helath, and Mr. Kuniaki Amatsu, Deputy Country Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
It is estimated that one out of every five Nigerian children will die before their fifth birthday. Malaria alone is responsible for one quarter of these deaths while vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus or diphtheria are also among the major causes of child mortality. This very high level of child mortality can be reduced with simple, affordable interventions such as immunization and the use of insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria. Nigeria also remains one of the only four countries in the world that has not yet interrupted indigenous wild poliovirus transmission, and accounts for 92% of the cases in Africa currently.
‘With this donation, the government and people of Japan have once again renewed their commitment to child survival in Nigeria. This large donation will contribute immensely to Nigeria’s drive towards achieving the health Millennium Development Goals by 2015’, said Dr. Robert Limlim, UNICEF Representative ai in Nigeria. ‘It is timely too with the current resurgence of wild polio virus in Nigeria and the fight to interrupt its transmission this year’.
This year’s contribution from the Government of Japan will be used for the procurement of polio vaccines, child survival supplies such as Oral Rehydration Sachets, deworming tablets for children aged 1 to 5 years and also drugs for malaria prevention in pregnant women. In addition, 159,300 Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN) will be procured for malaria control. This will complement the 521,500 Long Lasting Insecticide Nets already procured in the last two years with funding from the Government of Japan.
Since 2000, the Government of Japan has contributed about N5 Billion (US $44.24 Million) for the prevention of infectious diseases in Nigeria through UNICEF/Federal Government of Nigeria Programme of Cooperation.
“I earnestly hope that this project will foster the welfare of Nigerian children” said, H.E. Mr Toshitsugu Uesawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria. “I expect Nigerians to take action to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals. As long as Nigeria maintains its ownership, Japan will be together with Nigerian people as a partner and a friend”.
For media enquiries, please contact: