... Always Staying on Top of The News

Nigeria accounts for 27% victims of Malaria burden globally with 68m cases, deaths

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi

It has been revealed that Nigeria has the highest burden of malaria globally, accounting for nearly 27% of victims of the disease while the risk of transmission exists throughout the country, all year round.

Also, Malaria has been identified aa a major public health concern in Nigeria, with an estimated 68 million cases and some deaths due to the disease.

The assertion was made on Sunday by the Bauchi State Commissioner of Health, Dr Adamu Umar Sambo while addressing a Press conference at the Conference Hall of the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (BACCIMA) to commemorate the 2024 World Malaria Day.

He also stated that the challenges that Malaria has continued to pose to mankind as a whole and to the Citizens of Nigeria and Bauchi State in particular are enormous both in terms of Human and Economic cost.

Represented by the Director, Malaria Control, BACATMA, the Commissioner said that, “However, the incidence of Malaria is highest in the Northern and North- Eastern parts of the Country (WHO Report, 2022). Despite the high burden and the challenges, Malaria incidence has been reducing by 26% since 2000, from 413 per 1000 population in 2000 to 306 per 1000 in 2023.”

He also stated that the State Government, in collaboration with its’ partners, under the Coordination of the State Malaria Elimination Programme (SMEP), have made considerable strides in scaling up Preventive and Curative interventions, between 2020 to 2023, over 16 Million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) were distributed throughout the State.

According to him, “Bauchi State has also implemented a considerable expansion of Seasonal Malaria Chem from 10 LGAs to 20 LGAs of the State.”

The current trend analysis of Malaria in Bauchi State from April 2023 to March 2024 shows that; Malaria cases in Under five years has dropped from 23536 to 21535 while in the age group above 5 years has also decreased from 34209 to 31720 cases, while in Pregnant women, the Malaria cases has increased from 4935 to 5216.

These challenges have continued to receive committed attention of Governments and Partners on various platforms, One of such platforms is the annual World Malaria Day Commemoration.

The Commissioner added that the commemoration of World Malaria Day provides government with the opportunity for stock taking of the collective efforts in tackling this major public health problem just as it also provides it with the opportunity to increase public awareness on malaria prevention and control.

World Malaria Day was instituted by WHO Member States during the 2007 World Health Assembly and is celebrated on 25 April each year as it is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria control and elimination.

The theme for the 2024 campaign is “Time to deliver zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate and Implement” which gives the opportunity to celebrate the successes achieved in the prevention and control of malaria, it also highlights the challenges that still remain and emphasize on what needs to be done more to achieve Malaria elimination.

The Commissioner said that there is no better time to recommit to eliminating malaria in Bauchi State than today (the World Malaria Commemoration Day).

According to him, Malaria Prevention and Control efforts have been scaled up, with notable progress in Bauchi State, where the state Government accelerates environmental management for malaria control and prevention and increase in access to prompt anti-malarial treatment (ACT), and the availability of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits which made it possible to improve and expand diagnostic testing for malaria in public and private health facilities in the state.

“As we commemorate this year World Malaria Day, there is urgent need to expand preventive measures and quality-assured diagnostic testing and treatment to reduce the human suffering caused by malaria,” he stressed.

He also stressed that the malaria fight should be taking to the next level by Moving towards elimination which require high-level political commitment and robust financing, including substantial new investments in disease surveillance, health systems strengthening and research.

In Bauchi state, Government has been doing a lot through BACATMA towards Malaria Elimination by massive public enlightenment campaign of Malaria prevention and control, quarterly production of Malaria News Letter, supportive supervision just to mention, but a few.

In addition, it has trained various cadres of healthcare personnel on Environmental management, proper diagnosis, management and treatment of malaria in both public and private health sectors to ensure the successes in the war against malaria.

While hailing Bauchi State for its’ progress in combating malaria, there need to do more, it will not be enough to meet global targets for malaria control by simply maintaining the current rates of progress.

He then said that planned targets are:
100% of suspected malaria cases receive malaria diagnostic test, 100% of confirmed cases receive treatment with appropriate an effective anti- malarial drugs and 100% citizen-coverage with Long Lasting insecticidal Nets.

Also, 100% of complicated and confirmed severe cases receive appropriate referral and achieve State-wide access to community case management (CCM) of malaria through CDI strategy in the 323 wards.

Adamu Sambo said that, “ending malaria will require unrelenting continuous political commitment and funding by governments, partners and all stakeholders in the state.”

He however said that the administration of Bauchi State under the leadership of Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, in partnership with the Malaria Consortium, WHO, UNICEF, GHSC-PSM, BA-N, as well as other Development Partners in the State, would continue to work together purposefully and persistently until the war against malaria is won.

The Commissioner then called on all stakeholders in the fight against Malaria to put hands on deck to ensure the scaling up of all major interventions with a view to ending the effects of malaria, thereby making the final push towards achieving the target of eliminating Malaria by 2030.

“Let us therefore, re-dedicated ourselves, to a more co-coordinated effort against this public health challenge facing our State and the country at large,” he added.

The Commissioner also used the opportunity to thank the Governor for the support BACATMA is receiving and particularly Traditional and Religious Leaders, NGOs, CBOS Artisans, Gentlemen of the Press, but not forgetting Development Partners in Health care Services.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.