Nigeria accounts for one quarter of all the malaria cases in Africa; there are more deaths due to malaria in Nigeria than in any other country in Africa. It also has one of the world's highest rates of all-cause mortality for children under five years of age: approximately one in six children die before their fifth birthday. Malaria is endemic throughout Nigeria with an estimated 97% of the population at risk. The Sahel regions and the high mountain area of the plateau experience slightly lower rates of transmission. Malaria currently accounts for nearly 110 million clinically diagnosed cases per year, 60% of outpatient visits, and 30% of hospitalizations. The report of Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2008 showed that malaria accounts for more than 20% of childhood mortality. It is also believed to contribute up to 11% of maternal mortality, 25% of infant mortality, and 30% of under-five mortality. In addition to the direct health impact of malaria, there are also severe social and economic burdens on communities and the country as a whole, with the disease contributing to a loss of about US$ 3 billion in the form of treatment costs, prevention, loss of work time, etc.
The National Malaria Control Programme's (NMCSP) strategic plan for 2009-2013 is based on the National Strategic Health Development Plan 2010-2015. The NMCSP addresses national health and development priorities including the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and includes the following priorities: to reduce malaria-related mortality, to reduce malaria parasite prevalence in under-five children, to increase ownership and use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), to introduce and scale-up indoor residual spraying (IRS) and larval source management (larviciding and environmental management), to increase the use of diagnostic tests for fever patients, to improve appropriate and timely treatment of malaria, and to increase coverage of intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) of malaria during pregnancy. The NMCSP lays out specific targets to be achieved by 2010 and sustained through 2013.
The plan has a goal of reducing malaria-related mortality in Nigeria by 50% by the end of 2013. This will be accomplished by reaching the following coverage targets by 2013:
In 2010 after implementing the 2009 NMSP for a year, the country began scaling up its malaria control interventions in line with WHO recommendation for Scaling Up for Impact (SUFI). The country expanded its level of coverage with a paradigm shift from the vulnerable population to the entire population. The programme's efforts, however were compounded by significant challenges, such as inadequate level of resources and commodities to sustain the push for scale-up.
Nigeria has since sustained in its control interventions and has also maintained high coverage rates where they have already been achieved. The overall objectives for the coming years are to,:
Key strategies to reach these targets and goals will include:
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