In a significant health milestone, Nigeria has witnessed a substantial 55% reduction in malaria-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, made this encouraging announcement during the unveiling of the 2022 Nigeria Malaria Report in Abuja.
Dr. Moeti also lauded Nigeria’s progress in addressing HIV from 2015 to 2021, achieving two of the 95-95-95 goals.
These global HIV/AIDS response targets aim for 95% of individuals with HIV to know their status, 95% to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 95% to achieve viral suppression.
Despite Nigeria being a significant contributor to the global malaria burden, accounting for approximately 27% of all malaria cases, the country has seen remarkable improvements.
Since 2000, malaria incidence has dropped by 26%, from 413 per 1000 to 302 per 1000 in 2021. Furthermore, malaria-related deaths have plummeted by 55%, from 2.1 per 1000 population to 0.9 per 1000 population.
Dr. Moeti acknowledged the challenges faced in scaling up interventions, such as Nigeria’s large population, suboptimal surveillance systems, inadequate funding, and preferences for private healthcare.
She emphasized the importance of data-driven decision-making for tackling malaria and other diseases effectively.
Looking ahead, Dr. Moeti stressed the need for comprehensive data and evidence gathering to develop similar reports on various diseases and conditions.
This would empower countries to tailor interventions and allocate resources efficiently for both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, expressed the government’s commitment to improving health governance.
He pledged collaboration with development partners and the private sector to enhance health outcomes, including the retraining of 120,000 health workers and updating their practice standards. Prof.
Pate underscored the vital goal of reducing the disease burden and improving the survival rates of affected individuals.
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