Nigeria Recorded Highest Rate Of Malaria Cases Globally In 2018 – WHO

Zika, w.h.o

 

A new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) says Nigeria accounted for more than half of all malaria cases worldwide with 25 percent, topping the list of 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and India which carried almost 85 percent.

According to the WHO report, six African countries; Nigeria (25 percent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 percent), Uganda (5 percent), and Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, and Niger (4 percent each) accounted for more than half of all malaria cases worldwide.

The World malaria report 2019 released on Wednesday by the WHO, said in 2018, an estimated 228 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, compared with 251 million cases in 2010 and 231 million cases in 2017.

According to the report, the incidence rate of malaria declined globally between 2010 and 2018, from 71 to 57 cases per 1000 population at risk.

The prevalence of malaria was attributed to Plasmodium falciparum parasite in the WHO African Region, accounting for 99.7 per cent of estimated malaria cases in 2018, as well as in the WHO South-East Asia Region (50 percent), the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (71 percent) and the WHO Western Pacific Region (65 percent).

READ ALSO: I’ll Do Everything Possible To Ensure A Stable Liberia, Buhari Vows

The reports revealed that in 2018, an estimated 405,000 deaths were recorded from malaria globally, while children aged less than 5 years accounted for 67 percent (272,000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.

“Nearly 85 percent of global malaria deaths in 2018 were concentrated in 20 countries in the WHO African Region and India; Nigeria accounted for almost 24 percent of all global malaria deaths, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11 percent), the United Republic of Tanzania (5 percent), and Angola, Mozambique and Niger (4 percent each).

“In 2018, about 11 million pregnancies in moderate and high transmission sub-Saharan African countries would have been exposed to malaria infection. In 2018, the prevalence of exposure to malaria infection in pregnancy was highest in the West African subregion and Central Africa (each with 35 percent), followed by East and Southern Africa (20 percent). About 39 percent of these were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.”

The report also revealed that 11 countries with a high burden to high impact rate recorded about 155 million malaria cases in 2018.

“Of the 10 highest-burden countries in Africa, Ghana and Nigeria reported the highest absolute increases in cases of malaria in 2018 compared with 2017. The burden in 2018 was similar to that of 2017 in all other countries, apart from in Uganda and India, where there were reported reductions of 1.5 and 2.6 million malaria cases, respectively, in 2018 compared with 2017.”

However, the report reflected some gains, stating that malaria deaths reduced from about 400,000 in 2010 to about 260,000 in 2018, the largest reduction being in Nigeria, from almost 153,000 deaths in 2010 to about 95,000 deaths in 2018.

1,800 Dead As Malaria ‘Epidemic’ Rages In Burundi – UN

Malaria has killed more than 1,800 people in Burundi this year, the UN’s humanitarian agency says, a death toll rivaling a deadly Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

In its latest situation report, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 5.7 million cases of malaria had been recorded in Burundi in 2019 — a figure roughly equal to half its entire population.

Of those cases, a total of 1,801 died from the mosquito-born disease in Burundi between January 1 and July 21, OCHA said.

READ ALSO: 148 Arrested In Hong Kong During Monday’s Protests – Police

The tiny country of 11 million people in the African Great Lakes region has still not declared a national emergency, despite OCHA saying the outbreak crossed “epidemic proportions” in May.

“The national malaria outbreak response plan, which is currently being validated, has highlighted a lack of human, logistical and financial resources for effective response,” OCHA said in its latest weekly bulletin on humanitarian emergencies.

“All stakeholders, including the national authorities and partners are called upon to provide the requisite resources to mount a robust response to this event before it escalates.”

A lack of preventative measures like mosquito nets, climatic changes and increased movements of people from mountain areas with low immunity to malaria were driving the crisis, OCHA said.

‘Many crises’

An OCHA official told AFP that “the decision to declare an epidemic is the sovereignty of the Burundian state”.

The country declared a malaria epidemic in March 2017, when the country had recorded 1.8 million cases and 700 deaths, but was resisting doing the same now.

A senior government official, who declined to be named, said the government did not want to admit weakness with elections set for 2020.

“We are less than a year away from the presidential election. (President Pierre) Nkurunziza, who is facing many crises, does not want to recognise what could be considered a failure of his health policy,” the official told AFP.

Burundi has been in crisis since 2015, when Nkurunziza ran for a third term and was re-elected in elections boycotted by most of the opposition.

At least 1,200 people were killed and more than 400,000 displaced in violence the UN says was mostly carried out by state security forces.

Nkurunziza announced in 2018 that he would not stand again, confounding critics who accused him of working to extend his grip on power.

UN investigators said in July that “drastic” steps were needed to boost democratic freedoms in Burundi if the government wanted the elections to be considered credible.

Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the region, abuts DR Congo, where the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history has killed more than 1,800 people amid fears the infectious fever could spread beyond its borders.

But malaria is a much bigger killer on the continent.

The World Health Organization recorded nearly 220 million cases of the parasitic illness in 2017, with an estimated 435,000 deaths. More than 90 percent of malaria cases and deaths were in Africa.

AFP

US Has Contributed $495m For Malaria Control In Nigeria Since 2011 – Symington

 

 

The United States says it has contributed $495m for malaria control in Nigeria since 2011.

This is according to a statement by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington.

Symington made this disclosure in a piece, titled ‘US salutes health champions in Nigeria leading efforts to end malaria’, to commemorate the World Malaria Day.

The US envoy said, “On World Malaria Day, the United States is proud to recognize our partnership with Nigeria and support your fight to beat this deadly disease. We salute all Nigeria’s health champions—from health workers to mothers, pharmacists to drivers, journalists to researchers, teachers to warehouse managers—and all those working to end malaria.

“As a global community, we have achieved remarkable success. Together, we’ve cut malaria mortality by half in sub-Saharan Africa and saved over 7 million lives since 2000. In Nigeria, the United States has contributed $495 million for malaria control since the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) began in 2011, distributing more than 26 million long-lasting insecticidal bed nets, 23 million malaria rapid diagnostic test kits, 52 million treatment courses, and 14 million doses of medication to prevent malaria in pregnancy. As we commemorate World Malaria Day on April 25, we celebrate this success. As the world’s leading donor in global health, the United States is committed to working with our partners to intensify efforts to end malaria for good.

READ ALSO: FG Vows To Improve Primary Health Care Delivery In Nigeria

“We know fighting malaria is a smart investment to protect health, create opportunity, and foster growth and security worldwide. And we know fighting malaria together makes us more effective and achieves greater impact than any of us could alone. Countries are best positioned to beat malaria with strong partnerships behind them. American partnership—including technical and financial commitments through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) as well as the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria—remains a cornerstone for continued global progress.

“Since 2011, PMI, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has partnered with Nigeria to support their fight against malaria. PMI’s transformative programs in Nigeria leverage and strengthen national leadership, resources, and systems to deliver life-saving interventions more effectively and promote enduring malaria control gains. PMI walks alongside partner countries on their journey to end malaria as an evolving, but enduring partner—promoting and building their self-reliance. PMI empowers every person, every community, and every country to fight malaria as an equal, valued, and essential partner.

“This year’s World Malaria Day theme – Zero Malaria Starts with Me – recognizes this role we all play in ending malaria. So today we call on everyone – national governments, donors, communities, families, faith leaders, the private sector, and many others – to fight this deadly disease alongside us. Together we can scale proven interventions to close coverage gaps. We can share research, best practices, and data to stay ahead. We can welcome new products, players, and processes to advance our fight.

“This World Malaria Day, we are proud to reaffirm the commitment of the United States to continuing this global progress and ending malaria in Nigeria. And I extend our hand in partnership to all of those who will join us. Zero malaria starts with me, you, and everyone working together for a more prosperous and healthy future for all”.

Indonesia’s Quake-Hit Lombok Battles With Malaria, 137 Infected

Zika, w.h.o

 

 

A malaria outbreak has infected at least 137 people in Indonesia’s West Lombok after the island was rocked by a series of earthquakes in recent months, an official said Sunday.

The quakes and aftershocks since July have killed about 500 people and forced hundreds of thousands into evacuation shelters or tents.

As a result, the number of malaria cases is twice as high as in the same period last year, prompting the West Lombok government to declare a health emergency.

Among the 137 infected are babies and pregnant women.

The government has taken steps to prevent the disease from spreading such as taking blood samples, distributing mosquito nets and fogging.

Amaq Aniyah, 65, was diagnosed with malaria after feeling unwell for a week.

His house was destroyed by a 6.9 magnitude quake in early August and since then he has been living in a tent. Paramedics have given him a mosquito net.

“Ideally we should give mosquito nets to everyone but because we only have a few, we have to be selective,” said paramedic Farlin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

The head of West Lombok regency, Fauzan Halid, told AFP they only have 3,000 mosquito nets but need about 10,000.

Declaration of a health emergency will allow West Lombok to seek 3.4 billion rupiah ($230,000) in aid from the provincial and central government to tackle the crisis.

Indonesia’s rainy season is expected to start next month, raising fears malaria-carrying mosquitos could breed in stagnant water.

New Fight Is Needed Against Resurgent Malaria, Says Gates

FILE COPY Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates leaves the Elysee presidential palace, after a meeting with French President on April 16, 2018 in Paris.                                         Photo Credit: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP

 

Bill Gates warned Wednesday that malaria was back on the rise again and would continue to claim more lives worldwide unless governments reinvigorated their push to eradicate the disease.

Malaria death rates have been in steady decline since 2000 but rose again in 2016 as progress towards eliminating the mosquito-borne preventable disease stalled.

Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Gates said innovation would be crucial to keep progress in tackling the disease ahead of its ability to develop resistance to drugs and insecticides.

“This setback where the 2016 cases went up is a real signal to us,” Gates, the second richest person in the world, told the 2018 London Malaria Summit, where experts gathered to plot the way forward.

“The funding has to be long-term and we’ve got to get smarter.

“The malaria burden really is still unacceptable.”

More than 445,000 people died from malaria in 2016, mostly children under five and pregnant women. One child dies every two minutes from the disease. There were 216 million cases in 2016 — 90 percent of which were in Africa.

Malaria is estimated to cost the African economy more than $12 billion per year and can swallow up to 40 percent of a country’s healthcare spending.

Deaths from malaria dropped by more than 60 percent between 2000 and 2015. Gates said that around seven million lives had been saved since he began investing in 1999 and several countries had been declared malaria-free.

“Progress against malaria has been one of the most impressive successes in global health in this generation,” the US philanthropist said.

However, he warned: “If we don’t keep innovating, we will go backwards. If we don’t maintain the commitments, malaria would go back up and kill over a million children a year, because the drugs and the insecticides always are evaded by the mosquitos and parasites.

“Unsurprisingly, I view data as the lifeblood of how we’re going to be smarter.”

Attendees at another health conference this week in Dakar heard how particularly African countries suffering from famine or conflict have seen a spike in malaria infections and deaths.

Experts also warned that blood transfusions are a risk factor for malaria, with a study in Nigeria finding that nearly a quarter of the blood stocks in some sub-Saharan countries contain malaria parasites.

WHO’s ‘fresh fight’ call 

The London gathering is taking place on the fringes of the biennial Commonwealth summit. Gates said 90 percent of people living in the Commonwealth were at risk of catching malaria.

Summit host Britain has called on the 53 Commonwealth nations to commit to halving malaria throughout the member states by 2023.

Such action would prevent 350 million cases and save 650,000 lives, it was claimed.

“It is an ambitious goal, but one that is firmly within our reach,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“Malaria devastates lives worldwide but it has a particular impact on the Commonwealth. And we, as a Commonwealth, have a duty to tackle it.”

Stakeholders were expected to pledge more than £2.7 billion ($3.8 billion) of funding into research, data tools and malaria interventions.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — who twice caught malaria and lost a brother to it — said a “fresh fight” was needed to hold the gains made in fighting the disease.

“Finance is on the decline,” the Ethiopian diplomat told summit delegates.

“We have to renew the political commitment.”

AFP

748 Healthcare Facilities Get Anti-Malaria Drugs In Kano

VVF: Kano Govt. Advocates Improved Health Care For Girl
File photo

The Kano State government has procured free anti-malaria drugs and diagnostic commodities worth over N100million for 748 hospitals and healthcare centres in the state.

This was in addition to the recently procured drugs and other consumables to be distributed across the 44 local government areas of the state.

The war against malaria, children malnourishment and other related diseases in the state is closely being coordinated by UNICEF in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health.

The state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who addressed a gathering at an event held over the weekend, said government remains committed to delivering quality health servicing to the people.

“In order to ensure our children are healthy, we are collaborating with UNICEF and other non-governmental organisations to provide free and ready to use therapeutic food for malnourished children in the state to include free anti-malaria drugs and other diagnostic commodities.

“We have so far approved and released over N200million to UNICEF as counterpart fund,” Governor Ganduje said.

On her part, UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Mrs Padmavathi Yadla, said they will continue to work with the state government to ensure a healthy society in Kano and Nigeria in general.

Mrs Yadla added, “You must ensure that your children get exclusive breastfeeding as one of the most important ways to prevent malnourishment among our children.

“Therefore, I assured you that UNICEF will continue to support you in the very best ways we can”.

According to reports, Kano has been on the top list of states with reported high incidences of malaria outbreak as UNICEF and other community healthcare mobilisers work closely with the state government to bring the situation under control.

The state government hinted that over 3000 women have been engaged as volunteers to resolve non-compliance to oral polio vaccine which was achieved in collaboration with UNICEF Field Office, in addition to upgrading healthcare centres in the state.

Child Killed By Malaria In Italy Caught Disease In Hospital

Malaria

A four-year-old girl who died of malaria in Italy in September caught the deadly disease in hospital, the health ministry said on Saturday, ruling out the possibility she was bitten by an infected mosquito.

Sofia Zago, who had not travelled to any at-risk countries, fell ill after a stay in a hospital in the northern city of Trento that was treating a family that had contracted malaria during a trip to Burkina Faso.

“We can categorically rule out the malaria having been caught outside the hospital,” Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said on the sidelines of a G7 health summit in Milan.

The Santa Chiara hospital insisted it only uses disposable, single-use needles, leading experts to wonder whether the child could have contracted the disease via a mosquito bite on the Italian coast where she holidayed.

Malaria was rife in Italy in the 19th century but eradicated by 1962, and the idea it may be reappearing — and in the colder parts of the country no less — had spooked Italians.

Tests results now show, however, that both the family and Sofia were affected by the same strain, meaning the disease was likely passed from the family to the child by human error — such as a reused needle.

“This seems a comfort, because it means we don’t have malaria-carrying mosquitoes,” Lorenzin said in a reference to some types of the insect, called anopheline, that are able to transmit the disease from person to person.

While there are cases of mosquitoes from malaria-endemic countries making it to Europe alive in the body of an aircraft, or items of luggage, investigators ruled out the possibility one made it into the hospital along with the family.

With global climate change, the potential for the reappearance of malaria in countries where it was previously eradicated exists, but is relatively small.

According to the World Health Organization, there were 212 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2015, and 429,000 deaths. Ninety percent of malaria cases and deaths occur in Africa, with children under five most at risk.

AFP

Ministry Of Health To Provide Three Million Insecticide Nets

The Federal Ministry of Health on Monday disclosed plans to distribute about three million mosquito nets to every household in Osun State.

The Director, Malaria Control in the State Ministry of Health, Mrs Nurat Adeyanju, who highlighted the benefits of sleeping inside mosquito nets said the projection is to achieve 100% ownership and 80% utilisation of the nets to achieve a drastic reduction in malaria cases.

Adeyanju stressed the need for every household in Nigeria to totally embrace the use of the Long Lasting insecticidal nets to prevent malaria.

She further stated that Osun State is among the six states in Nigeria benefiting from the mass replacement of the mosquito nets.

According to other health experts at the media orientation in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the nets are designed to maintain utmost biological efficacy against mosquitoes for a period of three years.

Also speaking, a Director in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Sam Abutu sought the support and cooperation of the media in intimating the public on the health benefits of using the treated mosquitoes nets.

Dangote Bags ‘Malaria No More’ Award

Dangote's Worth Drops By 32%Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has been named the 2017 recipient of the ‘Malaria No More’ Global Leadership Award.

The event which took place in New York in the United States, was attended by dignitaries from across the world, all committed to eradicating the scourge of malaria in the world.

The organisers say Mr Dangote was honored for his role in fighting the spread of the disease in Africa and Nigeria in particular, through his contributions to the ‘Saving One Million Lives in Nigeria’ initiative.

Although the event sought to address the malaria menace, it was still indeed an evening of relaxation.

Channels Television’s Business Editor with other dignitaries

Akwa Ibom Govt. Provides Free Anti Malaria Drugs To Hospitals

The Akwa Ibom State Government says it has provided free anti-malaria commodities in all public health facilities in the state, for the treatment of malaria among its citizens.

The state Health Commissioner, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, disclosed this on Tuesday in Uyo in a broadcast made to mark the 2017 World Malaria Day celebration.

The Commissioner said, “The State Government had saturated health facilities with drugs and facilities such as Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACTs), Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine (SPs), Microscopes and Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits.”

He announced that the State Government had established two sites for parasite and vector sentinel in Eket and Uyo Local Government Areas respectively.

The Commissioner added that government had also developed human capacity for efficient and effective service delivery.

” The State Government has strong collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), the Roll-Back Malaria partners, Corporate organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).”

Reflecting on the slogan of the celebration, the Commissioner called for strong partnership and integrated efforts to ensure availability of malaria commodities to reduce the burden of malaria among citizens.

“The overall goal of this celebration is to energize our collective commitment to partner in the fight against malaria.

“The slogan also encourages the state, local governments and communities to play leadership role and take stock of achievements with a view to identifying gaps.”

He noted that malaria still remained a major public health concern in our society and must be tackled seriously.

“Everybody has a role to play in the fight against malaria, individuals, families and groups all have their distinctive roles to play. This role must include environmental management, health care seeking behaviour and drug adherence to prevent resistance as well as sleeping inside the long lasting insecticidal net every night,” the commissioner stated.

World Malaria Day: WHO Calls For Focus On Preventive Measures

The World Health Organisation has call for increased efforts to prevent malaria and save lives.

The global health body made the call in a statement on Monday ahead of the World Malaria Day.

According to WHO’s latest report, which spotlights critical gaps in prevention coverage – particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 43 per cent of people at risk of malaria in the region were not protected by either a net or indoor insecticide spraying in 2015.

It also said approximately 69 per cent of pregnant women in 20 African countries did not have access to the recommended three or more doses of preventive treatment.

WHO explained in its statement that while preventive measures, including the use of insecticide-treated nets have averted more than 663 million cases of Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa since 2001, there was the need for a bigger push for prevention.

The Director-General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, was quoted as saying, “WHO-recommended tools have made a measurable difference in the global malaria fight. But we need a much bigger push for prevention – especially in Africa, which bears the greatest burden of malaria.”

Together with diagnosis and treatment, the statement said, WHO recommends a package of proven prevention approaches, including insecticide treated nets, spraying indoor walls with insecticides, and preventive medicines for the most vulnerable groups: pregnant women, under-fives and infants.

Explaining the challenge further, WHO said it wasn’t really a problem of policy but that of policy implementation.

It noted that some targeted prevention approaches have been adopted by countries as policy, but the actual uptake has been slow.

It said preventive treatment for infants, for example, which is safe, cost-effective and well accepted by health workers and communities, is currently only being implemented in Sierra Leone.

WHO made the call for accelerated scale-up of efforts to prevent malaria and save lives the same day it announced that the trial of the world’s first vaccine would take place in three African countries.

READ MORE: WHO Announces World’s First Malaria Vaccine Trial

U.S. Supports Nigeria With $300m To Fight Malaria

Mr David Young

Nigeria may have recorded remarkable success in its fight against malaria, more still needs to be done to completely end the disease.

The United States Government has announced a $300 million commitment towards achieving this, while asking government to increase efforts in eliminating the disease.

The Deputy Chief of Missions at the U.S. Embassy, David Young, noted that ending malaria in Nigeria would prevent over 80 million illnesses and more than 300,000 related deaths each year.

He further stressed the need for both Federal and State governments to develop the primary healthcare through significant funding.

in their separate remarks, Malaria Ambassador and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari, as well as the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, disclosed how far they have been working to intervene, especially with funds from donor agencies.

They promised to ensure transparency and accountability in projects geared towards a reduction of the malaria scourge.

“All pregnant women are being given the needs and drugs for free in all State Government-owned hospitals and other health facilities.

“I will like to assure that Zamfara State government will continue to sustain the fight against malaria,” Governor Yari said.

“We will account for every Kobo, Naira and Dollar that you give to us. Take malaria out of the table, room, environment, this country; many things will change, and maternal mortality and under-five mortality will significantly improve.

“The contribution of the workforce to economic development will also significantly change,” Professor Adewole also said.