Nigeria tops global malaria deaths – WHO

According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria has the highest number of malaria infections and deaths in the world.

The 2021 World Malaria Report showed that Nigeria accounted for 31.9 percent of global malaria deaths in 2020 while maintaining the highest number of infections during the same period – at 27 percent.

The report said: “Twenty-nine countries accounted for 96 percent of malaria cases globally, and six countries – Nigeria (27 percent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 percent), Uganda (five percent), Mozambique (four percent), Angola (3.4 percent) and Burkina Faso (3.4 percent) – accounted for about 55 percent of all cases globally.

“Four African countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths worldwide: Nigeria (31.9 percent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (13.2 percent), United Republic of Tanzania (4.1 percent), and Mozambique (3.8 percent).”

It also revealed that the WHO African Region, with an estimated 228 million cases in 2020, accounted for about 95 percent of cases and 96 percent of deaths.

Speaking about the report, the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said: “This year’s World Malaria Report surveys the extent of damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic to the global malaria response, and outlines what is needed to get back on track and accelerate progress in the fight against one of our oldest and most deadly diseases.

“There were an estimated 14 million more malaria cases and 47,000 more deaths in 2020, compared to 2019, due to disruptions to services during the pandemic. However, things could have been far worse if not for the efforts of malaria-endemic countries to maintain services.”

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