The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Nigeria and 5 other countries accounted for around 50 percent of malaria deaths worldwide in 2020.
In a report released on Monday December 6, the international health body disclosed that there was an estimate of 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths, mostly of children under five, worldwide in 2020.
The 2020 figure represents about 14 million more cases in 2020, compared to 2019, and 69,000 more deaths. Nigeria accounted for 27% of the deaths.
The report read;
“About 96% of malaria deaths globally were in 29 countries. Six countries – Nigeria (27%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%), Mozambique (4%), Angola (3%) and Burkina Faso (3%) – accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths globally in 2020.
“Twenty-nine countries accounted for 96% of malaria cases globally, and six countries – Nigeria (27%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%), Mozambique (4%), Angola (3.4%) and Burkina Faso (3.4%) – accounted for about 55% of all cases globally.”
It was noted that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted malaria services, leading to a marked increase in cases and deaths.
According to WHO, the situation could have been far worse as there was a projection that severe disruptiuon could double malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus said many countries took urgent action to shore up their malaria programmes.
He added; “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, global gains against malaria had levelled off.
“Thanks to the hard work of public health agencies in malaria-affected countries, the worst projections of COVID’s impact have not come to pass.
“Now, we need to harness that same energy and commitment to reverse the setbacks caused by the pandemic and step up the pace of progress against this disease.”