WHO working on malaria in Nigeria

Healthcare worker administering vaccine Source:WHO Nigeria/L. Ozor/who.int

After 8 years of conflict in Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria, 8500 people are infected with Malaria each week, with the WHO estimating another 3.7 million at risk. That number is expected to rise as the transmission season lasts through October. WHO officials also estimate more than half of deaths recorded in Borno state are due to malaria.

Health facilities in the area are not fully functioning, so many people have not received regular medical care including vaccinations. Food insecurity is causing a rise in acute malnutrition, which further contributes to malaria concerns.

After a recent visit to Borno state, WHO officials commissioned a modeling exercise to estimate cases of malaria and preventable deaths. They found that with the right set of actions, up to 10,000 deaths could be prevented in Borno state alone.

As a result of the report, WHO, with partners in health sector, are taking the following 4 steps:
-Strengthening surveillance systems to monitor cases and outbreaks of malaria
-Increasing people’s access to care in clinics and to health facilities
-Spraying insecticides and distributing bed nets as part of vector control
-Administering malaria drugs to children every month during transmission season (July to October)

Read more about WHO’s efforts to combat malaria in Borno state here.