*As country records 55% decline in malaria death
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the 2022 Nigeria Malaria Report, which revealed that Nigeria recorded a 55 percent drop in malaria deaths.
The report showed that Nigeria accounts for around 27 percent of the global burden of malaria cases, but the country has seen major progress.
According to the report, malaria incidence has fallen by 26 percent since year 2000 from 413 per 1000 to 302 per 1000 in 2021, while malaria deaths have also fallen by 55 percent, from 2.1 per 1000 population to 0.9 per 1000 population.
Speaking during the virtual launch yesterday, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Moeti Matshidiso, said that Nigeria has made great strides in improving the health of its population.
Matshidiso observed that the country has made progress on HIV between 2015 and 2021, meeting two of the 95-95-95 goals, and tuberculosis intervention coverage is improving, with increasing case detection over the same period.
She noted that the key drivers of the continued malaria disease burden include the size of Nigeria’s population, which was making scaling up intervention challenging; suboptimal surveillance systems, which picked up less than 40 percent 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.
Matshidiso noted that the Report on Malaria in Nigeria 2022 was an excellent model from which to use data to prioritize health interventions, adding that by using data, we can prioritize and target interventions, optimize allocation of resources, and facilitate the monitoring of performance at federal and state levels.
According to her, 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.
She stated that 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.
“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. 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 governments in the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases”, she added.