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Bisi Lawani
March 24, 2024

The State Steering Committee for World Bank Immunization Plus and Malaria Progress by Accelerating Coverage and Transforming Services (IMPACT) inaugurated by the Ondo State Government sometimes in November 2023 has held its first quarter meeting to present it's project work plan for the State for approval. The event held at the Grand Capital Hotel in Alagbaka Akure, the Ondo State Capital.

Speaking at the meeting, Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Adeniran Ikuomola postulated that reducing under 5 mortality for human capital accumulation is critical for Human Capital Index (HCI) in the country as Nigeria ranks 152 out of 157 in the Human Capital Index.
He explained that Nigeria has the highest under 5 mortality rate of lower income country while also emphasizing that 87 percent of under 5 mortality aside Neonatal mortality is caused by Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhea and other vaccines preventable diseases with Ondo State having Malaria prevalence of 27 percent while average immunization coverage for the State stands at 95 percent.

He reiterated that Malaria is easily preventable, treated and curable but it remains a public health concern in Nigeria as it also accounts for 1 out of 10 of all maternal death from complications in pregnancy and 3 out of 10 death in Children under 5.
He lamented the negative impact on Nigerian economy as it has been estimated that about 480 Million Naira is used to cover cost of treatment, prevention and loss of hours as a result of absenteeism from workplace, schools and farms. Ikuomola explained that to curb the menace of Malaria in the country, the Federal Government introduced IMPACT project supported by the World Bank in 26 States, Ondo State inclusive, as part of its strategic commitment to reducing under 5 mortality by 2030.
He said the project is to improve the utilization and quality of Immunization plus and Malaria services in the State and to contribute to the vision of the National Strategic Health Development Plan which is to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of the people in the State.

Speaking on the reason for the meeting, the Permanent Secretary said "today the State Steering Committee has come together to review the 2023 IMPACT work plan for ratification before submitting to the World Bank for necessary approval to commence the implementation of the project, the State Steering Committee had already been constituted by the previous executives with the formal approval of the Government.

He noted that the current administration led by the Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa is fully committed to supporting the World Bank Project in reducing Malaria prevalence and childhood killer disease amongst under age Children in the State and advancing healthcare delivery and also ensuring the welfare of the good people of the State.

He therefore sought for the collaboration amongst Stakeholders, developing Partners, Civil Society Organization and the general Public to continue the war against Malaria and vaccine preventable killer diseases in the State.

The project Coordinator for IMPACT Malaria, Dr. Waheed Folayan while presenting the overview of IMPACT project explained that the component of the support is for strengthening service delivery in the health facilities and health system and technical assistance for all the 203 wards in the 18 Local Government Areas in the State.

The Committee after an extensive discussion and corrections, approved the work plan while urging the Project Implementation Unit to ensure every Ondo State citizen benefits from the Project.