Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

World Malaria Day: Nigeria maintains 3rd position in disease cases, says WHO

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday placed Nigeria in 3rd position among countries that had increased Malaria cases in the year 2022.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday on “Accelerating the Fight Against Malaria for a More Equitable World” Dr Alex Chimbaru, Deputy Country Representative, representing WHO Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Molumbo said the country needed to do more to reduce the burden of the disease.
“This year, let us collectively commit to changing the narrative and ushering in a new era of progress and equity in our battle against malaria”.
He said over the years, malaria has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable populations, namely, pregnant women, infants, children under 5 years of age, refugees, migrants, and internally displaced people, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequity.
According to the Global malaria report of 2023, in 2022, there were an estimated 249 million malaria cases in 85 malaria endemic countries, the WHO African region shoulders the heaviest malaria burden with a contribution of 94% and 95% of malaria cases and deaths respectively.
Molumbo stated that the main countries contributing to the increase of cases in 2022 were Pakistan (+2.1 million), Ethiopia (+1.3 million), Nigeria (+1.3 million), Uganda (+597 000) and Papua New Guinea (+423 000), saying the time to Accelerating the Fight Against Malaria for a More Equitable World Climate change and humanitarian emergencies, including natural disasters and conflicts in malaria-endemic countries, are displacing populations, making them vulnerable to the disease.
“This reduces opportunities for accessing preventive and treatment services by these groups thus hindering progress on achieving the vision of a malaria-free world”.
However, amidst these challenges, there is cause for hope. Together, under the guidance of FMOH/NMEP we have made remarkable strides in malaria control and prevention, thanks to the tireless dedication of individuals and organizations across the country. Through robust surveillance, innovative interventions, and strengthened health systems, we have saved countless lives and prevented untold suffering.
On her part, USAID/Nigeria Deputy Mission Director, Sara Werth said in 2022, Nigeria accounted for 31 percent of global deaths and 38 percent of global deaths in children aged under 5 years.
She stressed that In Nigeria, malaria deaths decreased from 194,000 in 2021 to 188,480 in 2022. Prevention of malaria in Nigeria has contributed to the overall global success of the PMI program.
“As we commemorate World Malaria Day today, we celebrate this success and recognize the fight to eliminate this deadly disease.
She maintained that, Nigeria and across the world, fighting malaria is a smart investment to protect health, create opportunities, and foster growth and security.
“We are proud to partner with the Nigerian government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria as we work together to make Nigeria malaria free. Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PMI partners with Nigeria to support the fight against malaria.
Also, National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Program NMEP ,Dr. Godwin Ntadom informed that the World Malaria Day was first commemorated in Nigeria by President Oluwseun Obasanjo in 2000 in Abuja where 44 heads of states were present.
He further informed that April 25 every year was set aside to raise awareness of the global effort to control and ultimately eradicate malaria.

Comments are closed.