The Support to the National Malaria programme (SuNMaP) worked in close co-operation with Nigeria’s National Malaria Control Elimination Programme (NMEP) in 10 states and selected Local Government Areas within those states. Eventually covering around 40% of Nigeria’s population, SuNMaP rolled out activities in Anambra, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Ogun Jigawa, Enugu, Katsina and Yobe states. The programme ran for eight years and ended in March 2016.
SuNMaP aimed to demonstrate new ways of working, innovation using evidence of what has and has not worked in Nigeria and elsewhere. SuNMaP carried out its work under the following output areas: improved capacity for national, state and Local Government Area (LGA) policy development; planning and coordination; harmonisation; prevention of malaria; treatment of malaria; awareness and demand creation; operations research, monitoring and evaluation.
These outputs encompass a wide and extensive range of activities, such as:
- Improving access to Artemisinin Combination Therapy drugs for paying customers at retail outlets
- Supporting training and mentoring in malaria programme management
- Developing strategies that communicate effective malaria prevention messages to the general public
- Working with national and state authorities to carry out universal mosquito net campaigns.
Health Partners International (HPI) was a core partner in the consortium of SuNMaP and was part of the consortium management board. HPI provided technical assistance in health systems strengthening for national and state level capacity for policy development, planning and coordination of malaria control activities. HPI’s key focus included providing technical and operational support in building local on-the-job capacity for management at all levels of the national malaria elimination programme.
The support of SuNMaP to the Nigerian National Malaria Elimination Programme has resulted in various improvements including:
- The development of a revised and more coherent national malaria policy and malaria monitoring & evaluation strategy in Nigeria;
- Development of a new National Strategic Malaria Plan (2014-2019) and associated annual operational plans at national and state level (10 states in all) and at LGA level;
- Establishment of systems for continuous routine distribution of LLINs;
- Improved availability of and access to RDTs and ACTs
- Establishment of annual review and planning processes of malaria control activities and development of costed annual operational plans, which are reviewed regularly for progress and use evidence to set out a clear direction for malaria control;
- Improved quality and coverage of diagnostic and treatment services for malaria as a result of extensive training of health workers and development of a strong pool of trainers;
- Improved integrated supportive supervision processes across health facilities and management bodies;
- Establishment of quality assurance systems for malaria diagnostic laboratory services;
- Strengthened monitoring & evaluation, data collection and analysis of the malaria eradication elimination programme;
- Increased coverage of the population by malaria prevention and control interventions and increased access to malaria treatment with ACT.
Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and led by the Malaria Consortium, other core consortium members included HPI and GRID consulting. Other partners included Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group (PMG), and Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN).
Evidence and learning from the programme is available in more detail in the Final Report.