NNMEP: Despite Reduction in Malaria Prevalence, 30 Children Still Die Every Hour

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The National Malaria Eradication Programme (NMEP) has lamented that despite the reduction in malaria prevalence in the country, it said malaria remains a leading cause of death of under-five children, saying about 30 children die every hour.

The National Coordinator, NMEP, Dr. Audu Muhammed, revealed this in Abuja at the fourth quarter media chat aimed at informing the public through the media on the importance of a stronger partnership between the private sector and NMEP towards sustaining continuous access to ACT.

He said though as challenging as elimination of malaria could be, the federal Ministry of Health through NMEP and her RBM partnership have made some progress towards elimination of malaria in the country.

Muhammed stated: “it is indeed sad to note that malaria is still a leading cause of death for under-five children in Nigeria, snuffing out the lives of about 30 children every one hour and rendering a substantial number of them incapable of effective learning. However, today we have good results on reduction of prevalence.

“In this year, over 8.4 million Long Last Insecticide Nets (LLINs) have been distributed in three states (Kogi, Edo and Osun) while a total of 105 million LLINs have been distributed so far.

“Consequently, the prevalence of malaria has reduced from 42 per cent to 27 per cent (MIS 2015). The National Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) plan has been finalised, it is meant to guide the country’s decision on malaria management in the future.

“A total of 130 million doses of ACT were distributed in 2016 whereas 25.4 million were dispensed to the private sector as at October, 2017 for treatment of malaria. Also, malaria preventive measure through seasonal malaria chemo- prevention was carried out in the sub Sahel regions of the country,” Muhammed noted.