Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Niger, and the number of presumed and confirmed cases rose to approximately 2.7 million cases in 2011, children under five and pregnant women being most vulnerable. Only 15.3% of patients seek care and two thirds of the severely hospitalized forms of malaria are inadequately managed. Malaria is a risk in all areas in the country.
The health authorities of Niger have implemented several malaria prevention and control programmes in recent years. These interventions broadly follow WHO guidelines and international recommendations, and are based on interventions that have proved successful in other parts of Africa. The country mobilized considerable financial resources and recruited and trained a large number of physicians and health workers, as well as created several medical clinics in the districts. With improved case management, the real malaria burden in the country became increasingly visible. The number of malaria cases recorded and reported by the National Health Information System increased from about 600 000 in 2000 to just under 3 million in 2011. It is possible that the overall malaria incidence is overestimated, as the recording of malaria cases in some places is still based on a presumptive diagnosis.
With support from the Global Fund, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and other partners, Niger has implemented several control strategies to reduce malaria incidence and morbidity in priority groups. These strategies are in line with the Millennium Development Goals, and aim to eliminate malaria by 2030.
The interventions integrated into public health policy in Niger include: (i) adoption of artemether-lumefantrine combinations as the first-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria; (ii) adoption of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for pregnant women; (iii) introduction of free health care for children under the age of five years; (iv) distribution of 5.6 million insecticide-treated nets for the campaign and routine (2006 to 2009). The distribution of these nets has continued, with the aim of achieving universal coverage; (iv) management of malaria cases directly at healthcare points; (v) introduction of artesunate-amodiaquine combinations and expansion of artemisinin- based combination therapies (ACT); (vi) authorization of the market release of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, and an increase in the number of health workers and physicians assigned to health facilities in the capacity of these centres; and (vii) greater availability of recently introduced malaria treatments and improvements in patient management, with the launch, in 2010, of the Affordable Medicines Facility - Malaria, helping Niger to increase the supply of affordable ACT via the public and private sectors for 18 months.
The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) is set to distribute 2.7 million treated mosquito nets across the 25 local government areas of Niger State. The leader of the state support team of NMEP, Mrs. Adaeze Aidenagbon, disclosed this yesterday during a media orientation programme organised by Society for Family Health in Minna to acquaint the media of the knowledge of the consistent use of the Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN)Read more
The country has received an $18.1 million grant extension as part of transitional funding.Read more
The programme, run by WHO with a grant from the Government of Canada, covers 5 African countries: DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Nigeria. The idea is to build capacity and equip community volunteers to recognize, diagnose and treat malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia - the 3 top childhood killers.Read more
An abandoned measure in malaria prevention has been resurrected in six African nations this year. About 1.2 million healthy children are swallowing malaria drugs to prevent the disease during the rainy season in regions where malaria mainly strikes within those months.Read more
Malaria: A race against resistanceNature.comThe effort is part of a broad campaign to prevent malaria by providing African children with drugs usually used to treat the disease. Nearly 1.2 million healthy children from parts of Mali, Togo, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal received these drugs ...Read more
An International non-governmental organization, AFRICARE, yesterday flagged off a six months malaria control and health promotion programme in flood affected areas in the country under its Roll Back Malaria programme.Read more