Why we Need to End Malaria
Malaria is a completely preventable and treatable life-threatening disease which is responsible for significant losses of lives, especially of women and children, globally. Unfortunately, Sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionately high share of the global disease burden, accounting for 88% of cases and 90% of deaths in 2015.
Leading Cause of Death in Women and Children
In Africa today, malaria accounts for one fifth of all child deaths. Besides the unquantifiable loss of human lives, the disease costs the African continent $12 billion annually in productivity losses. Malaria represents one of the biggest public health and developmental challenges in Nigeria. According to 2015 estimates, Nigeria had over 100 million malaria cases and about 300,000 malaria deaths, representing the highest number of malaria casualties worldwide. According to the National Malaria Strategic Plan (2014-2020), Malaria is responsible for 30 per cent of childhood deaths, 25 per cent of deaths in children under one year, and 11 percent of maternal deaths.
Leading Developmental Challenges
Malaria represents one of the biggest public health and developmental challenges in with its negative impact transcending all sectors, generations and social strata among the Nigerian population. Malaria is responsible for 60 per cent of outpatient visits to health facilities, with about $1.13 billion lost yearly on treatment, prevention and loss of man-hours.
Impediments to the fight Against Malaria
Despite the proven effectiveness of known high-impact interventions funded over the past decade, nationwide utilization indices are far from impressive. Progress in addressing the national malaria burden has been greatly impeded by three key factors:
Poor data for decision making
Poor data collection, collation and sharing has characterized the malaria control programme. More strategic use of data and information is needed to help financiers invest in the most appropriate technical strategies.
Fragmented governance and delivery
Sub-national malaria programs operate as “vertical” programs, and have little involvement with wider health sector strategic planning. Initiatives by different stakeholders need to be coordinated to attain the tipping point necessary for sustained impact.
Huge funding gaps
Inconsistent international financing and inadequate domestic funds threaten longer term success…recorded achievements are uneven and fragile. As champions of economic growth, the private sector’s capabilities and resources can be harnessed to address this dire need.