Why Africa’s efforts at tackling malaria are failing

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Malaria has proven to be the most horrendous public health challenge confronting countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria; despite billions of dollars spent yearly in tackling the scourge on the continent, which still accounts for nearly half of global malaria cases.

In Nigeria, according to the National Malaria Strategic Plan (2014-2020), malaria is responsible for 60 percent of outpatient visits to health facilities, 30 percent of childhood death, 25 percent of death in children below one year of age, and 11 percent of maternal death.

Direct use of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) and Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) has been promoted as control measure to eradicate malaria in Africa has been associated with significant reductions in malaria morbidity and mortality, particularly among pregnant women and children less than 5 years.

Tanzania has been on the fore front in the promotion of the use of Insecticides Treated Nets from research project in the 1980s and 1990s and from validations in large field trials in early 2000 it escalated to a nationwide programme through a discount voucher scheme through a public private partnership approach (WHO, 2005).

Malaria is one of the most severe global public health problems, particularly in Africa, LLIN and ITN are meant to be highly effective means of preventing malaria infection and majority of the burden falls to the poorest and most rural populations which indicate poverty, poor sanitation, significant or decrease the in the distribution of nets coverage.

The National Malaria Control Strategic Plan (NMCSP, 2011) in Nigeria includes universal access to Long Lasting Insecticide Nets, increased indoor residual spraying, and environmental management to decrease mosquito breeding places (The Global Malaria Coordination, 2011).

The Long Lasting Insecticide Nets distribution strategy in Nigeria included a “scale–up phase” (2009-2010) of free Long Lasting Insecticide Nets … Read More...