Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Deaths caused by Malaria drops by 55% in Nigeria

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has applauded Nigeria‘s effort in fighting malaria, saying malaria deaths fell by 55 percent from 2.1 per 1000 population to 0.9 per 1000 population.

WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Moeti Moshido, stated this at the launch of the 2022 Nigeria Malaria Report in Abuja.

She said “While Nigeria accounts for around 27 percent of the global burden of malaria cases, the country has seen major progress. Malaria incidence has fallen by 26 percent since 2000 from 413 per 1000 to 302 per 1000 in 2021. Malaria deaths also fell by 55 percent, from 2.1 per 1000 population to 0.9 per 1000 population.”

Moeti identified the drivers of this continuing disease burden as the size of Nigeria’s population, which she said is making scaling up intervention challenging.

Speaking further, he said learning from COVID-19, continuity of provision of essential health services is critical to interventions in malaria and other diseases, particularly in populations affected by humanitarian emergencies, adding that changing environmental factors, such as climate change, and farming and mining practices that may increase transmission.

She said addressing the prevention, elimination, and control of malaria and the burden from other diseases requires critical data and information gathering for evidence-based investment and decision-making.

The Report on malaria in Nigeria 2022 is an excellent model from which to use data to prioritise health interventions. Using data, we can prioritise and target interventions, optimise allocation of resources and facilitate the monitoring of performance at federal and state levels. This report is a result of the collaboration between the Nigeria Malaria Elimination Programme, the WHO Regional Office for Africa, and the Global Malaria Programme.

The report provides critical information on the status of malaria in each of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, making it unique in providing data at the State level to guide a truly subnational response to malaria, providing an overview of the malaria situation across all States, focusing on population demographics, malaria interventions, climate, and disease burden.

Going forward, the Regional Office must support the generation of the data and evidence required to develop similar reports on other diseases and conditions. This will enable countries to monitor interventions at national and sub-national level, to tailor the use of funds by donors and government in the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases.” 

By Patience Ivie Ihejirika, Leadership

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