Southern New Hampshire University
Research Findings on the Prevalence of Malaria in Nigeria
Malaria remains one of the greatest health challenges with millions of deaths attributable to this disease being recorded annually. Malaria has continuously constituted not only a huge epidemiological burden to the world, but has also managed to cripple the economic development in the regions that it has been prevalent. Malaria has been prevalent in the tropics that ideally provides the necessary climatic conditions for the breeding of the disease vector. However, this paper holds that apart from climatic conditions, the socioeconomic factors have also contributed to the prevalence of malaria, especially in the northern region of Nigeria. According to health statistics, malaria constitutes a significant health crisis in Nigeria which yields more cases and fatalities than any nation in the world being that 97% of its population remains at risk ("Action Africa Inc. Launches a New Approach Against Malaria in Sierra Leone and Nigeria by Teaching Children to be Proactive Ambassadors"). It is imperative for the government of Nigeria to address the socioeconomic challenges that affect its citizens in order to mitigate the adverse effects of malaria. This paper elucidates the impact of malaria in Nigeria, with special emphasis on the low socioeconomic area of the northern part. This research paper observes that the malaria prevalence is directly related to people’s socioeconomic status. Besides, this paper notes that mitigating the impact of malaria requires sound and well developed health policies that naturally involve the most affected individuals. Ultimately, this paper will present an outline of a preventive strategy that is capable of containing the morbidity and mortality rates among children and the pregnant women in Nigeria.
According to Leary (2008), malaria is widespread throughout most of the tropics. However, according to Bradley (1992), the epidemiology of malaria has been characteristically varied across the globe because of malaria’s largely diverse vectorial capacity. Out of the approximately 3.4 billion people who are globally prone to malaria infections annually, about 1.2 billion are at a higher risk. The World Health Organization points out in the World Malaria Report (2013) that in 2012 alone, more than 207 million people developed symptomatic malaria. Between 2000 and 2010, the figures released by the WHO report are, to some extent, encouraging as the number of reported annual malaria incidences in 34 malaria-eliminating countries decreased by 85 % from 1.5 million to 232, 000 cases (WHO, 2013). However, from the same report, the global malaria deaths reached a high of 1.82 million in 2004 and considerably fell to 1.24 million in 2010. Among the deaths reported in 2010 were 714,000 children below the age of 5 and 524,000 persons above the age of 5. However, shockingly, the World Health Organization (2013) reports that over 80% of malaria deaths occur in the sub-Saharan Africa. Shockingly, the Nigeria Malaria Indictor Report (2012) reports that Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo account for over 40% of the total global malaria fatalities. This revelation has led to several concerted efforts in the two leading countries aimed at addressing the prevalence of malaria.
Malaria Situation in Northern Nigeria
Currently Nigeria ranks among the more densely populated countries within the African continent with a population of about 170 million, according to the 2013 population statistics, and with an approximate annual growth rate of 2.6% (Malaria Operation Plan, 2013). According to statistics released in the 2010 United Nations Development Program Human Development Index, Nigeria ranks at 142 among 169 countries with a life expectancy at birth rate to be 48.4 years (WHO, 2013). Furthermore, research