Malaria in Nigeria

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Nigeria is the country with the biggest malarial problem in the world. It is estimated that malaria kills around one million people per year and 300,000 of those deaths are people that live in Nigeria. Around 97% of the population are at risk of catching malaria and malaria is responsible for more deaths and illnesses in Nigeria than any other country.

60% of the patients that visit hospitals in Nigeria visit due to malaria related problems and 25% of child deaths under the age of one are due to this disease. It is prominent across the whole of the country except the highlands where the remaining 3% of the population live and are not troubled by the disease. It is a problem because of the amount of poverty in the country because people cannot afford to live in safe houses with mosquito nets and subsequently this leads to more malaria cases.

Malaria is such a big issue in this country and even more so because the strains of the parasites are resistant to Chloroquine. Therefore, Malarone, Mefloquine or Doxycycline is usually prescribed for the area. The government are now distributing mosquito nets around the country and since this has started, 46.8 million nets have been given out. Residual spraying of building and malaria tablets have also been given out.

If you plan to visit Nigeria, you must take your full course of malaria tablets and follow insect protection measures. Keep doors and windows shut, wear long sleeves at dusk, stay indoors during the time mosquitoes are more active and sleep in a mosquito net if you cannot sleep somewhere with air conditioning. Make sure that you apply insect repellent as often as you can.

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