Malaria is a serious problem in Nigeria and the incidence of the disease in this country has raised deep concerns on what must be done, with several initiatives both public and private coming up to address the problem. The statistics on Malaria in Nigeria are not amusing but rather disheartening and frustrating for a country with the highest population in Africa. It means that the prevalence can lead to more catastrophic problems if measures are not put in place to check the increasingly deteriorating circumstances. While Africa contributes to about 90 percent of the world's cases of malaria, Nigeria is worse off. In fact by 2008, malaria accounted for 60 percent of all outpatients that had appointments in hospitals besides the country losing approximately 132 billion naira in cost implications for treatment and all other related expenses. Considering the fact that more than half of Nigeria's' population is surviving below the poverty line, malaria has continued to remain a pandemic in this country with more people continuing to face the harsh effects related to the disease.
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This trend may continue to increase especially with the understanding that due to poverty, majority of the population is always unable to afford the drugs (Olufunke & Olumuyiwa, 2005).
Statistics indicate that approximately 60 percent of deaths occurring in hospitals are caused by malaria with around 65 percent of these deaths being those of children under the age of five years. Malaria has also shown continued accountability for all the cases of visits to the clinics. The problem of lack of adequate medical staff in terms of doctors and nurses has also become a major contributor to the deteriorating condition of the malaria incidence in the country.
Sometimes, the doctors and nurses are forced to remain on duty for more than twelve hours thus making them tired to a point of no delivery. In such circumstances, this medical staff cannot manage the large numbers of patients because they are already tired and concentration becomes a problem. Women and children are still the most vulnerable and so they bear the bulk of the brunt as they have to wait in ques and waiting bays for very many hours before they can get any attention, from the exhausted doctors and nurses. Nonetheless, there has been a lot of activity going on in the country as efforts are made to arrest the incidence as fast as possible, to avoid deepened consequences. With poverty levels increasing and the problem persistent, many entities have seen the need to counteract the incidence. For instance, there is the action by UNICEF to empower communities especially in Bauchi through relevant education and knowledge on how to identify malaria plus ways to prevent it well in advance before it gets out of hand. More of such efforts are also being carried out across the country by other groups and more needs to be done for quick results to be realized (UNICEF-Nigeria, 2009).
In conclusion, malaria is one of the most deadly diseases and its effects are so dire in Nigeria just like most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa where poverty is the explanation behind the depressing cases of the disease. The incidence of malaria in Nigeria calls for immediate and urgent action, in order to combat the problem that is evidently threatening human life especially those of children and women.
The several initiatives to deal with the pandemic are great steps being made towards reclaiming the conditions of heath of the population, and the achievement of optimum protection from incidences of malaria. The government in coordination with agencies and private sector players will form the necessary force to decrease the desperate conditions and eventually end the incidence of Malaria in Nigeria.
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