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WHO Hails FG For Reducing Malaria Mortality Rate

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has hailed the Federal Government’s efforts at reducing the incidence and deaths from malaria. The global health body noted that between Years 2000 and 2021, malaria incidence and deaths reduced by 26 per cent and 55 per cent in the country.


The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, gave the commendation while unveiling ‘The Report on Malaria in Nigeria 2022’, the first-ever subnational malaria report.


The WHO official said while Nigeria accounted for about 27 per cent of the global burden of malaria cases, the country had made significant progress.


She added that the key drivers of the continuing disease burden include the size of Nigeria’s population, which makes scaling up intervention challenging; and the suboptimal surveillance systems, which picked up less than 40 per cent of the country’s malaria data.


Moeti also informed that other factors stifling malaria eradication efforts includes 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: “While Nigeria accounts for around 27 per cent of the global burden of malaria cases, the country has seen major progress. Malaria incidence has fallen by 26 per cent since 2000 - from 413 per 1,000 to 302 per 1,000 in 2021.


Malaria deaths also fell by 55 per cent, from 2.1 per 1,000 population to 0.9 per 1,000 population.


“Further, learning from COVID-19, we know that continuity of provision of essential health services is critical to interventions in malaria and other diseases, particularly in populations affected by humanitarian emergencies; and changing environmental factors, such as climate change, and farming and mining practices that may increase transmission.


“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.”


The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Pate, stressed that governance, not finance, is a major challenge bedeviling malaria fight in the country.


The minister said his team intended to fix this by working with development partners and the private sector to garner resources needed to tackle the menace.


Pate promised the ministry would retrain about 120,000 health workers, as well as update their standards of practice.

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