Experts have revealed that 11 percent of pregnant women in Nigeria die from malaria annually and called for action to be taken against the disease in the rural areas of the country.

At a conference held in Abuja, the experts discussed the prevalent rate of malaria in pregnant women and children under five.

According to them most of the federal government’s initiatives to end malaria are not effective in the rural areas. They also stated that some common drugs and basic information needed to prevent or treat malaria including treated mosquito nets, do not really get to the people at the grassroots.

The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, in 2012 dislosed that Nigeria has the highest malaria cases in the world, adding that the country alone contributes 23 per cent, which is about a quarter of the global malaria cases.

Also, the Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Mr. Terence McCulley, described malaria as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. To tackle this scourge, the Malaria Action Programme for States (MAPS) was launched in Abuja in 2011 by Ambassador McCulley who identified Zamfara, Ebonyi, Benue, Oyo, Nasarawa, and Cross River as states participating in the new U.S. government health initiative.

In launching the programme, Ambassador McCulley said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would provide approximately $82 million to fund MAPS for five years.