Federal Government has confirmed that malaria prevalence in Nigeria is on significant decline. This, they said, was as a result of collective efforts and interventions from the government and international partners.
Minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, confirmed the development at the press conference to herald the 2022 World Malaria Day with the theme ‘Advance Equity, Build Resilience. End Malaria,’ in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said that malaria prevalence rate dropped from 42 per cent in 2010 to 27 per cent in 2015, and 23 per cent in 2018, while utilisation of insecticide treated nets among older five year old increased from 43.4 per cent in 2015 to 52 per cent in 2018, and increased from 49 per cent to 58 per cent in 2018 among pregnant women.
He added that fever feedback testing among children under five increased from 5 per cent in 2010, to 11 per cent in 2013 and 13 per cent in 2015.
He said: “Nigeria also witnessed a good downward trend that we hope will change. We expect that when the result of the 2021 malaria indicator survey is out soon, we will see a further downward trend in that respect.”
He promised that the Federal Government will continue to work assiduously to ensure that they reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1, 000 live births by the year 2025.
Meanwhile, Country Representative, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, in his remarks, made reference to World Malaria Report of 2021 which indicated that Africa accounted for 95 per cent of malaria cases and deaths globally.
He called on governments to focus on malaria and its devastating impact on families, communities and societal development, insisting that the role of innovation in the fight against malaria had become critical not only to reduce the disease burden globally, but also to save lives.
“There has been a growing political commitment at country, regional and international levels to tackle malaria. We have seen significant breakthroughs in malaria prevention and control, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.