The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Nigeria recorded a drop in malaria prevalence from 42 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent in 2018.
WHO’s Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi, said this at a press briefing to commemorate the 2021 World Malarial Day on Friday in Abuja.
World Malaria Day, which takes place on April 25 yearly highlights global efforts to control malaria and celebrate gains made.
Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives.
However, half of the world’s population still lives at risk from this preventable, treatable disease, which costs a child’s life every two minutes.
According to Kazadi, the theme of this year’s World Malaria Day, “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria,” is a reiteration of the personal commitments made during the 2020 commemoration.
“It re-emphasises the need for collective responsibility towards ending the devastating scourge of a disease that is preventable and curable.
“Today, therefore, is a reminder to every individual, community, stakeholder, organisation and government to accelerate actions required to end the disease,” said Kazadi.
He said the Slogan “Stand Up! Take Action!” was a call to action for all stakeholders to reaffirm their commitments to malaria control and health in general.
“As we have heard at different fora, Malaria remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.
“With all Nigerians at risk, it accounts for more than 60 per cent of hospital visits, 20 per cent of under five mortality and 11 per cent of maternal mortality,” he explained.
The WHO representative said it was even more worrisome that despite funding from government and partners, 44 per cent of out of pocket expenditure of households was on malaria.
“It is estimated that malaria causes a significant loss in economic growth and puts a strain on household finances.
“Equally, the overall progress made in the first 15 years of this century, global trends in malaria case and mortality rates have been plateauing since 2015, particularly in the highest burden countries; Nigeria is one,” he noted.