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Malaria prevalence in Nigeria on decline, says Ehanire

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said Nigeria recorded a slight decrease in malaria prevalence, from 23 per cent in 2018 to 22 per cent in 2021.

Enahire made this known at the Official Launch and Dissemination of the National Malaria Indicator Survey (NMiS) Report and The National Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) Strategy and Implementation Guide in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), reported that the National Malaria Elimination Programmes (NMEP), organised the dissemination of the ACSM strategy and implementation guide (2021-2025), in collaboration with the National Population Commission (NPC).

Ehanire said, while this may not appear significant at the national level, at the sub-national substantial gains have been observed in several states.

The minister noted that malaria is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Nigeria, with young children and pregnant women disproportionately affected.

Furthermore, he said the disease accounts for 60 per cent of outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 per cent of childhood deaths, 11 per cent of maternal death (4,500 die yearly), and 25 per cent of deaths in infants (children aged 1 year).

He said, the 2021 World Malaria Report from the World Health Organisation showed that nine to 10 persons die every hour due to malaria or malaria-related issues in Nigeria and that the country contributes 27 per cent to the global malaria burden and 32% to malaria deaths globally.

Also, he announced that children under five years of age remained the most vulnerable group affected by malaria accounting for 67 per cent of all malaria deaths.

He also noted that it was pertinent to note that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its partners had made consistent and concerted efforts over the years in providing resources towards the elimination of malaria in the country, and this had resulted in millions of lives being saved.

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