Nigeria Records 55% Drop in Malaria Deaths – WHO

Nigeria has recorded a 55 percent drop in malaria deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said it fell from 2.1 per 1,000 population to 0.9 per 1,000 population.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday during the launch of the 2022 Nigeria Malaria Report, she said Nigeria accounted for around 27 percent of the global burden of malaria cases, adding that malaria incidence in the country had also fallen by 26 percent since 2000.

She said it fell from 413 per 1,000 to 302 per 1,000 in 2021.

She said: “Drivers of this continuing disease burden include the size of Nigeria’s population, making scaling up intervention challenging; suboptimal surveillance systems, which pick up less than 40% of the country’s malaria data; inadequate funding to ensure universal interventions across all states; and health seeking behaviour, where people use the private sector, with limited regulation, preferentially.”

She said the report on malaria in Nigeria 2022 was an excellent model from which to use data to prioritize health interventions.

“Using data, we can prioritize and target interventions, optimize 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,” she said.

She noted that the report provided critical information on the status of malaria in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

She said the report was 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.

Moeti said Nigeria also made progress on HIV between 2015 and 2021, meeting two of the 95-95-95 goals.

She said tuberculosis intervention coverage was improving, with increasing case detection over the same period.

The Coordinating Minister of Health, Prof. Muhammad Pate, said the ministry was working towards retraining about 120,000 health workers to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

He said the ministry was also working on reducing the burden and deaths from diseases.

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