Roll Back Malaria Progress & Impact Series:
Focus on Nigeria
Progress and impact of malaria control in Nigeria at a glance
Over the last few years, Nigeria has built a robust disease control programme capable of delivering interventions to its population, despite logistic challenges presented by the size of the country.
Good planning and sound partnership coordination have attracted both partners and growing resources. Between 2004 and 2010, nearly US$ 600 million in external funding was allocated to scale up the country's malaria control programme.
These funds, as well as growing contributions from the Government of Nigeria, were used to roll out appropriate preventive and curative services:
- Approximately 50 million ITNs were distributed to households between 2007 and 2010.
- Indoor residual spraying (IRS) coverage was expanded to protect 560 000 households in 2010.
- Health personnel, including an expanding number of role model caregivers (community health care providers), have been trained in proper diagnosis and treatment of malaria, using RDTs and ACTs.
Rolling out these interventions began in earnest in 2007 and 2008, and increased coverage:
- In 2010, 42% of households in Nigeria owned at least one ITN—a fivefold increase from just two years earlier.
- In states that received external support for their LLIN distribution campaigns, 70–75% of households own at least one ITN, a coverage rate comparable to other countries in Africa, whose malaria control efforts began earlier.
- Between 2008 and 2010, 31% of children under five years in rural areas and 36% of pregnant women nationwide (regardless of mosquito net ownership) used an ITN the night before the survey—a six- and ninefold increase, respectively.
- In 2010, 13% of pregnant women received at least two doses of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) during antenatal consultations, compared with just 5% in 2008.
These sharp increases in coverage will likely reduce disease burden and save lives, but since the scale-up is recent, it is still early to detect impact.
- The prevalence of parasitaemia in children under five is still high: 42% as measured by using microscopy (MIS 2010).
- According to estimates using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST model), the lives of 166 000 children under five have been saved by malaria control interventions since 2001. Approximately 136 000 (or 82%) of the lives saved occurred in 2009 and 2010 alone.
Despite initial scepticism about what could realistically be achieved in a country of the geographic size, population, and complexity of Nigeria, these data show that progress can be made and interventions can be delivered when states receive appropriate support.
Nigeria is now aiming at achieving and sustaining high coverage rates for malaria control interventions in all states nationwide. With continued commitment from states, the federal government, and external partners, the country could set a positive example for Africa and become a leader on the continent in protecting its people from malaria.