The federal government yesterday commenced the dissemination of the 2021 Nigeria Malaria Indicator survey (NMIS) report.
The documents tagged, “The 2021 Malaria Indicator Survey Report,” as well as the Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation (ACSM) Strategy and Implementation Guide,” was formally unveiled by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who flagged off the programme said the 2021 NMIS report provided the country and partners the necessary baseline information with which the achievements of the current anti-malaria intervention effort would be benchmarked.
He also said the ACSM strategy and implementation guide would provide direction on the implementation of ACSM activities to improve uptake of high-impact interventions that would lead to achieving the goals and objectives of the malaria strategic plan.
He said that the malaria prevalence surveys were previously carried out in 2010, 2015 and 2018.
While speaking on the results for 2021, Ehanire said the surveys showed a slow but steady decline in malaria prevalence at national level from 42 per cent in 2010 (MIS, 2010) to 27 percent (MIS, 2015), and 23 per cent in 2018 (NDHS, 2018).
He said significant declines have also been observed at the zonal and state levels.
“The third round of MIS was implemented in 2021, the report of which we are launching today. The results of the 2021 NMIS show a further decline in the national prevalence of malaria to 22 per cent from 23 per cent in 2018 and 42 per cent in 2010.
“While this may not appear significant at the national level, at the sub-national substantial gains have been observed in several states.
“We are seeing gains being sustained in getting the general population to adopt key preventive measures. 56 percent of households own at least one insecticide Treated Net (ITN) while 36 percent of household members, 41 per cent of children under five and 50 per cent of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before the survey.
“Also, 31 per cent of women took at least three doses of
SP/Fansidar for the prevention of malaria in pregnancy while 45 per cent took at least two doses up from 17 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in 2018,” he said.
Explaining further, the minister said: “When we look at the per cent who slept under an ITN the night before the survey among households with at least one ITN then we see the percentages rise (59 percent of household members, 64 per cent of children under five and 73 per cent of pregnant women).
“This underscores the importance of access, and therefore our drive to use all means including rolling mass campaigns to reach the teaming populations of Nigeria with nets.”
Despite the declining prevalence, Ehanire said the country was still not seeing the substantial gains it wish to see.
“Malaria prevalence is still higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. We are observing a shift in the disease patterns among the various age groups with prevalence increasing with age, and those more than 5 years having more episodes of malaria (not tracked in the current NMIS).
“These call for some shifts in the way we do things especially in promoting health seeking behaviours within the general populace,” he said.
Earlier in his remark, the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Mahamuda Mamam said Federal Ministry of Health in strong collaboration with the states, development partners and other key stakeholders conducted the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) in 2021 as well as developed the National Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation strategy and implementation guide, despite the challenging implementation period posed by the COVID-19 pandemic at the time.
He said the 2021 NMIS report provides the country and partners the necessary baseline information with which the achievements of the current strategic plan would be benchmarked while the ACSM strategy and implementation guide would provide direction on the implementation of ACSM activities to improve uptake of high-impact interventions that would lead us to achieving the goals and objectives of the malaria strategic plan that aligns with the broader Strategic Health Development Plan.