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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Nigeria: Confronting the Malaria Scourge

Via All Africa :

" AS the global community, on the surface, appears to be intensifying efforts aimed at eradicating malaria, available statistics show that, indeed, the war against the deadly disease is not recording as much success as it should and this reality is evident in Nigeria as in most other countries where malaria continues to be a major health challenge.

Eleven years after Nigeria's National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) was officially launched, the disease has remained a source of serious concern across the country, with about 500,000 deaths recorded annually, mostly of children and pregnant women.

According to statistics released by the National Coordinator of the NMCP, Dr. Babajide Coker, Nigeria contributes a quarter of the malaria burden in Africa, and a staggering 90 per cent of her citizens are at risk of the lethal disease.

Dr. Coker who gave the figures at a recent event to commemorate this year's World Malaria Day (WMD) also revealed that the scourge still accounts for about 60 per cent of all clinic attendance and is responsible for 30 per cent of childhood deaths in the country.

WMD was first observed on April 25, 2008 "to provide stakeholders including governments at all levels with an opportunity to raise awareness and increase knowledge on control" of the disease worldwide.

Before then, 44 African leaders had, in Abuja on April 25, 2000, held the first summit on malaria, where they affirmed their commitment to roll back malaria and set interim targets for the actualization of their goals for Africa."

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