US President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) Project

US President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) Project

Fighting Malaria Across Nigeria

To combat malaria in Oyo State, PMI-S worked with local leaders and health workers to organize training sessions on malaria case management. Following the training sessions, the malaria test positivity rate decreased from 65.3% to 53.7%.

In Plateau State, PMI-S implemented capacity-strengthening activities to empower the health workforce to become agents of change. These trainings helped drive significant results, including a drop in the malaria test positivity rate and improved data quality.

To achieve a malaria-free Nigeria, PMI-S is focused on preventing malaria in pregnancy. The project worked with the local government to purchase and distribute 595,000 doses of malaria preventive treatment to nearly 200,000 women in Oyo State.

By monitoring 995 health facilities in Nasarawa State, PMI-S helped increase the uptake of preventive malaria treatment among pregnant individuals from 46% to 100% and improved maternal health outcomes.

PMI-S continues to help the country lead the way in digital innovation. In Zamfara State, the project developed a new automated system to collect and validate data from seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaigns, significantly improving data accuracy.

Overview

The US President’s Malaria Initiative for States (PMI-S) project is USAID Nigeria’s and PMI’s flagship project to reduce malaria mortality and morbidity, especially among children under five and pregnant women. The project works with the Government of Nigeria to improve the accessibility and quality of malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services. PMI-S contributes to the National Malaria Elimination Program’s (NMEP) vision of achieving a malaria-free Nigeria by working with government entities to strengthen malaria policies and better coordinate malaria control activities. The five-year project is being implemented in eight states to improve malaria case management, health care practices, and data management, quality, and usage.

The four main objectives of PMI-S are to: 
  • Improve malaria prevention and case management services in public and private health facilities
  • Implement malaria control and treatment strategies to better protect pregnant women and children under the age of five
  • Enhance monitoring and evaluation, including malaria surveillance and data quality
  • Strengthen existing health systems and improve NMEP management
Achievements include: 
  • Malaria test positivity rates decreased over the last three years across all eight states where PMI-S is working. The most significant drop is in Ebonyi State, which had a test positivity rate of 82% in January 2020 and 54% in April 2023.
  • Malaria case management, prevention, and data management strengthened in 151 health facilities in Oyo, Cross River, and Ebonyi States between October and December 2022. These states were recognized by the NMEP as among the best performing in malaria data quality management at the national 2022 biannual technical review meeting.
  • PMI-S assisted state ministries of health in implementing seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) activities across Nigeria, which included reaching over 1.3 million children in Zamfara State with the lifesaving medicine.
  • PMI-S supported the successful roll-out of integrated community case management of malaria with community-oriented resource persons, who provide services to children across remote villages. Trained community health workers across all supported states provide counseling to pregnant women and older members of the community; treat children under five for malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea; and detect danger signs that require referral to a health clinic.

Protecting Children during Peak Malaria Transmission Season

Many families across Nigeria can’t afford the time and resources it takes to seek health care services. For Saratu Babangida, a mother living in Zamfara State, she fears for the day her young children will become sick with malaria again and she must miss days on the farm to nurse them back to health. Because of ongoing conflicts that shut down markets, her family is already facing financial distress and may not be able to overcome another setback. Saratu’s call for help was answered when her children received preventive medicine during the annual SMC campaign. PMI-S trained local citizens to go directly to homes like Saratu’s and administer the medication to children. Now, Saratu can keep her children safe from malaria and continue to support her family.

A mother receives seasonal malaria meds for her children from a health worker. Photo credit: PMI-S Project, Nigeria, malaria

Addressing Malaria during Pregnancy

Malaria is common among pregnant women in Nigeria—it increases the risk of maternal anemia, low birth weight, premature delivery, stillbirth, and death in infants. When first-time mother Mfon became pregnant, she worried about becoming ill with malaria, having known friends who lost their baby or gave birth prematurely. She visited a primary health center in Akwa Ibom State, where PMI-S works to maintain a steady supply of medicines to prevent malaria and trains health workers to counsel pregnant women on the importance of taking preventive medications during pregnancy and administering the right dosage. Following the advice she received, Mfon delivered a healthy baby without any complications from malaria.

Nurturing Health and Hope: A Nurse’s Dedication to Malaria Prevention and Maternal Care in Nigeria

Preventing malaria in pregnancy requires skills and coordinated care. In 2020, the PMI-S project trained Monica and other health workers in Plateau State on how to administer malaria preventive medication along with antenatal care.