World Malaria Day: WHO tasks Nigeria, others on new strains, drug, insecticide resistance

As the World marks this year’s World Malaria Day, the World Health Organisation, WHO, on Sunday urged Nigeria and other malaria endemic countries to work on drug and insecticide resistance, as well as focus on new strains of malaria parasite arising from the region, which are more difficult to detect, and treat.

Making the call in her message to mark day, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said malaria remains a significant public health and development challenge.

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According to her, last year, about 95 percent of the estimated 228 million cases occurred in the WHO/AFRO Region, along with 602 020 reported deaths.

She said six of the countries, the worst-impacted by malaria in the Region, were reported to have accounted for up to 55 percent of cases globally, and for 50 per cent of these deaths.

“Malaria is, however, much more than medical and technological interventions. Malaria affects households and communities, and these communities need to be empowered to play an active role in the fight against this disease.

“As WHO in Africa, we recognize that a whole-of-society approach requires us to listen to, and learn from, those who are worst impacted.

Noting that World Malaria Day is an occasion to renew political commitment and encourage continued investment in malaria prevention and control, she called on countries and communities affected by malaria to work closely with development partners to advance the countries along the road to elimination, while contributing to the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.

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