By Ankeli Emmanuel, (SOKOTO)
Despite the reduction in malaria prevalence in Nigeria from 27% in 2015 to 23% in 2018 according NDHIS, over 31 million estimated cases of malaria occur annually in Nigeria.
The Senior Media Programme Officer, from USAID’s Breakthrough–Action Nigeria stated this on Monday at a media parley organized by the Sokoto State Government in collaboration with the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI-US) in preparation to the formal distribution of 3.1 million insecticide treated nets to residents.
Mrs. Shehu said 2 out of 4 persons having malaria in West African sub region live in Nigeria.
She added that “malaria is exerting huge social and economic burden on our communities and country as billions of naira are lost annually on treatment and loss of precious working hours”.
While stressing that an estimated 30% of child mortality and 11% of maternal deaths each year are due to malaria, Mrs. Shehu said prevalence of malaria in children under the age of 5 in Sokoto State is 32.7%.
She further appealed to media practitioners in Nigeria to put more efforts in their reportage on the causes and preventive measures of malaria such as consistent use of mosquito treated nets.
On his part, Sokoto State Commissioner of Health, Dr Muhammed Ali Inname represented by the Director General, Sokoto State Malaria Control Agency, Dr Muslulimi Adamu Gobir, said active participation of the media can make the campaign on the distribution and usage of mosquito treated nets successful.
Dr Muslulimi, who noted that aside contributing its counterpart fund of about 178 million naira to the total 534 million to be expended on the programme, said Sokoto State Government will deploy 1500 personnel for this year’s campaign and distribution of the ITN.
He further urged the beneficiaries not to sell the ITN, as measures have been put in place to ensure arrest and prosecution of anybody defaulter.