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Nigeria sees 23% drop in malaria prevalence in 2018 – WHO

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Nigeria sees 23% drop in malaria prevalence in 2018 – WHO

By Abujah Racheal

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Nigeria experienced a decline in malaria prevalence from 42% in 2010 to 23% in 2018.

Dr Walter Kazadi, WHO representative in the country, said this during a press briefing to commemorate World Malaria Day 2021 on Friday in Abuja.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that World Malaria Day, which takes place on April 25 each year, highlights global efforts to fight malaria and celebrates progress made.

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives.

However, half of the world’s population still lives at risk for this preventable and treatable disease, which claims the life of a child every two minutes.

According to Kazadi, the theme for this year’s World Malaria Day, “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria,” is a reiteration of personal commitments made at the 2020 commemoration.

“It again emphasizes the need for collective responsibility to end the devastating scourge of preventable and curable disease.

“Today, therefore, is a reminder to every individual, community, stakeholder, organization and government to accelerate the actions necessary to end the disease,” Kazadi said.

He said the slogan “Get up! Take action! ”Was a call to action for all stakeholders to reaffirm their commitments in favor of the fight against malaria and health in general.

“As we have heard in various forums, malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.

“With all Nigerians at risk, this accounts for over 60% of hospital visits, 20% of under-five mortality and 11% of maternal mortality,” he explained.

Even more worrying, the WHO representative said, despite government and partner funding, 44 percent of out-of-pocket household spending was on malaria.

“Malaria is believed to cause a significant loss of economic growth and strain household finances.

“Likewise, the overall progress made in the first 15 years of this century, global trends in malaria cases and death rates have plateaued since 2015, especially in the most affected countries; Nigeria is one of them, ”he noted.

Kazadi added that the World Malaria Report 2020 estimated that 215 million malaria cases and 384,000 malaria deaths occurred in 2019 in the WHO African Region, accounting for 94% of cases and deaths in the world.

He stressed that Nigeria continued to bear the disproportionate burden of the malaria toll, accounting for 27% and 23% of cases and deaths respectively worldwide.

“There has been growing political commitment at national, regional and international levels to fight malaria.

“The most recent is Mr. President’s pledge to increase domestic financing and explore other innovative ways to increase health financing; it brings a unique ray of hope for disease control, ”he said.

The WHO representative in Nigeria said the COVID-19 pandemic was testing the resilience of health systems across the world.

He said WHO had developed the High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) approach to enable countries to rethink malaria control and elimination strategies.

“This process has provided the right impetus for the development of the current strategic plan for malaria control.

“This provides a clear direction towards using stratified, evidence-based information to generate impact, through a combination of personalized interventions that work, in the context of a sustainable and resilient health system,” said he noted.

Collective intersectoral action, he said, is crucial to address the challenges and accelerate progress towards eradicating the malaria scourge in Nigeria.

“The organization, in collaboration with other partners, will also intensify its action by helping the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) to mobilize the national and international resources necessary for an effective fight against malaria in the country.

“Let me pledge WHO’s commitment to continue the partnership with the FMoH / National Malaria Eradication Program (NMEP) and all other malaria partners by providing technical support and innovations to achieve the goals.” fixed ”, he assured.

Kazadi, however, said malaria was preventable and curable.

“Simple interventions like sleeping in insecticide-treated mosquito nets, making sure every suspected malaria case is tested and, if positive, treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).

“Prevention of malaria in pregnancy through the use of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP-IPTp) among other preventive strategies. Not all fevers are malarious, ”he added. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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