MALARIA accounts for 30 per cent deaths among children in Nigeria, according to the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), a department of Public Health under the Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria.
The NMEP Coordinator, Dr Perpetua Uhomoibi, disclosed this on Friday, December 10, at the opening event of the two-day workshop on the 2021 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey (NMIS) Report in Abuja.
Uhomoibi, describing malaria as one of the major public health challenges in the country, disclosed, “Malaria accounts for 60 per cent of outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 per cent of childhood deaths, 11 per cent of maternal deaths (4,500 die yearly), and 25 per cent of deaths in infants (children under a year old).”
The NMEP coordinator added that the Federal government, in collaboration with many partners and donors, had made consistent and concerted efforts over the years in mobilizing and providing resources for malaria programming.
She enthused that the efforts had been rewarding as millions of lives had been saved.
“To track progress being made as a result of these efforts, the National Malaria Elimination Programme, with support from partners/donors, conduct periodically the Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey (NMIS), which is interspersed with the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). So far Nigeria has conducted two rounds of NMIS in 2010 and 2015. The third round of MIS was implemented in 2021.
“The results of the 2021 NMIS show a further decline in the national prevalence of malaria to 22 per cent, from 23 per cent in 2018, and 42 per cent in 2010. We also see progress being made in key indices being tracked. Fifty-six per cent of households own, at least, one insecticide treated net (ITN), while 36 per cent of household members, 41 per cent of children under 5, and 50 per cent of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before the survey,” she said.
Uhomoibi said that 31 per cent of pregnant women took, at least, three doses of SP/Fansidar for the prevention of malaria, while 45 per cent took, at least, two doses, up from 17 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in 2018.
According to her, the percentages on the net usage rose when visualized from households with, at least, one ITN.
“Fifty-nine per cent of household members, 64 per cent of children under 5, and 73 per cent of pregnant women slept under an ITN the night before the survey,” she added.
The Coordinator noted that the scenario underscored the importance of access, and, therefore, the drive and encouragement for all Nigerians to have, at least, two nets per household.