Lack of resources has been the biggest challenge for controlling malaria in Nigeria.
Recently, the Africa Union (AU) has honoured eight countries, during its 28th Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Nigeria is not one of them. These countries were rewarded for their roles in reducing the outbreak of malaria and deaths through malaria infection in the continent.
Here are 8 reasons Nigeria didn’t make the list of those African countries to control malaria.
1. Malaria outburst
Nigeria according to Africa Union accounts for the highest number of cases of malaria infections and death rates in Africa.
2. Lack of resources
Countries like Chad with lesser resources than Nigeria received the 2017 African Leaders Malaria Alliance Awards for Excellence.
3. No improvement
Botswana, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Swaziland and Uganda were commended for reducing the incidences of malaria by more than 40 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Nigeria with her massive population cannot boast of a better malaria control result.
4. Lack of commitment
These eight African countries stood out for their commitment and innovation in the fight against the disease while Nigerian is seen to be lagging behind on malaria control programmes.
5. Lack of vision
These countries’ effort at reducing the death rate bagged them awards for committing enough resources and funding to plan towards the elimination of the disease by 2020.
6. High burden
Nigeria's federal government is still struggling to sustain its malaria control programmes, which is a major reason why the country has failed to make significant progress in the eradication of the disease.
7. Withdrawal of funds from international donors
The donor funding has drastically reduced, so the federal government has to seek innovative strategies to raise funds so as to continue with these prevention and control programmes.
8. Lack of tools
The insecticide treated mosquito nets distributed in Nigeria are no longer in place. Also the indoor residual spraying of houses has reduced and all these strategies must be sustained to make significant progress to eliminate the disease.
The 2016 World Malaria Report stated that, even though Nigeria has made ‘considerable’ progress particularly in its distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets, it is still lagging behind.
“Nigeria decreased malaria mortality by 20 to 40 per cent between 2010 to 2015. It also distributed these nets more than any other country in Africa over the last 10 years, but her status as Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, with 29 per cent of total malaria cases in underscores the significance of the progress the country has made.”