Media Source: Xinhua (China)

LAGOS–– Over 90 percent of the population in Nigeria is at risk of malaria, while children and pregnant women are more vulnerable to this disease, an official said Wednesday.

Malaria though preventable, still remains a major public health problem in Nigeria, Mohammed Kawuwa, the northeast Yobe State Commissioner for Health, told reporters.

He spoke in Damaturu, the state capital at the commemoration of the 2018 World Malaria Day.

The theme of this year’s celebration “Ready to Beat Malaria” with an accompanying slogan “Together we can”, provides a clarion for all to be committed, he added.

 

Medical statistic indicated that Nigeria suffers the world’s greatest malaria burden, with approximately 51 million cases and 207,000 deaths reported annually (approximately 30 percent of the total malaria burden in Africa), while 97 percent of the total population (approximately 173 million) is at risk of infection.

Meanwhile, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria has urged government at all levels and traditional rulers to increase awareness on malaria among rural dwellers.

Addressing reporters in the central northern city of Ilorin, Adejuwon Otelaja, the association’s chairman, stressed the need to keep the environment clean and avoid stagnant water where mosquitoes breed near residences.

He added that malaria is a disease that is transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, noting that the disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites, two of the parasite species that cause malaria in humans.

Otelaja stressed the need for increased awareness at the grassroots on the causes and prevention of malaria.

Quoting statistics from World Health Organization (WHO), the pharmacist said about 3.4 billion people live in areas prone to malaria transmission in 91 countries and territories.

The World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every April 25 to recognize global efforts to control malaria with a common goal of ensuring a world free of malaria.