The Nigerian government has launched the report of the 2015 Malaria Indicator Survey, which indicates a reduction in malaria amongst children.
To completely eliminate malaria, the government conducts periodic survey to ascertain the increase or decrease of the spread of malaria.
The latest survey launched in Abuja, the nation’s capital contains good news for Nigeria as it shows a decline in malaria, unlike the last survey conducted in 2010.
Speaking at the launching, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said that there had been an improvement in the data collection and results from the survey.
He said ” In the last ten to fifty years, malaria elimination in Nigeria has witnessed increased human and material resources availability. This period witnessed massive scale up in the provision of anti -malarial commodities, improvements in data quality and availability, as well as increased capacity for malaria programme management “.
The minister also said that the Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey is to provide the country with data to measure progress in Malaria implementation.
” The 2015 NMIS is distinctively different from the 2010 NMIS in that data is disaggregated to provide state specific indicators, which of course provides us with the opportunity to develop state specific malaria control strategies as we move the country towards malaria elimination,” Prof. Adewole said.
The minister of health explained that the percentage coverage of households with at least one Long Lasting Insecticidal Net increased from 42% in 2010 to 69% in 2015, while percentage utilization of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets by under five children increased from 29% to 43%. Similarly, percentage utilization by pregnant women increased from 28% in 2010 to 49% in 2015. Access to intermittent preventive Treatment of malaria in pregnancy increased from 13% to 37%. Note worthily, prevalence of malaria parasites among Under five decreased from 42% in 2010 to 27% in 2015.
“Despite these improvements, I must add that we are still far from our vision of a malaria free Nigeria. The report of this survey should help government and partners to re-appraise its efforts to fight malaria in line with the current national malaria strategic plan. I am optimistic that with your support and collaboration, we will achieve our goal,” he lamented.
The Chairman of the National Population Commission, Mr. Eze Duruiheoma, stressed that the data collected during the survey were accurate and would aid states and the Federal government in the fight against malaria.
The representative of the World Health Organization, Mr. Rex Mpazanje,noted that Nigeria was on the right part towards eliminating one of its greatest health challenges, while urging the government to build on the successes recorded in the survey.
For the Director in charge of the 2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey at the National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr. Perpetua Uhomoibhi, the team did a good job.
She said that the group went about with medical experts who tasted and treated respondents during the survey.
2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey was implemented by the National Malaria Elimination Programme and the National Population Commission with funding from donor agencies.