Malaria in Nigeria
According to Roll Back Malaria, there are an estimated 300 million acute cases of malaria every year around the world, resulting in more than one million deaths. Approximately 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, mostly in young children. Malaria in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Ministry of Health (MoH), is responsible for 60 percent of outpatient visits to health facilities; 30 percent of childhood deaths; 25 percent of deaths in children under one year; and 11 percent of maternal deaths. Furthermore, the Federal MoH estimates a financial loss from malaria (in the form of treatment costs, prevention, loss of man-hours, etc.) to be roughly 132 billion Naira per year (approximately $838,564,000 USD). With these staggering statistics, it is clear that health is a prerequisite for economic prosperity. The disease is directly contributing to poverty, low productivity, and reduced school attendance in Nigeria. The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), under the auspices of the MoH, as well as international partners, is aggressively combating this disease’s burden on its economy through proven malaria control strategies which include the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) to protect against mosquito bites; prompt treatment of malaria cases; and the use of intermittent preventive therapy (IPT) among pregnant women. Despite the rigorous efforts, the MoH is still encountering challenges among its citizens to employ the sustained use of malaria control interventions, namely due to structural and behavioral barriers.
As a result, Nigerians have opened themselves up for collaboration with the international community to address the serious problem of malaria and the challenging efforts of malaria control. FHI 360’s MAPS project is a USAID funded program, with funds coming from the Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI), to equip Nigerians with the necessary tools, knowledge, and skills to eradicate malaria.