Nigeria Accounted For 27 Per Cent Of Global Malaria Cases In 2021, Says WHO

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THE World Health Organization (WHO) has disclosed that Nigeria accounted for 27 percent of the global cases of malaria in 2021, while accounting for 31.9 percent of malaria cases in Africa.

The global health body noted that environmental and personal hygiene, coupled with climate change are increasing the vulnerability of the health system and Nigerians to non-communicable and infectious diseases.

Speaking during a briefing to commemorate this year’s World Health Day organised in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Country Representative of the WHO, Dr. Walter Mulombo, urged all stakeholders at the national, state and local government level to urgently initiate climate change and health adaptation and mitigation actions.

Represented by the Deputy Country Representative of the WHO, Alexander Chimbaru, he said: “This year’s theme, Our Planet, Our Health, serves as a timely reminder of the inextricable link between the planet and our health, as the burden of non-communicable and infectious diseases rises alongside growing incidence of climate-related challenges.

Climate change is manifesting in increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, and more frequent and severe extreme weather conditions. WHO estimates that more than 13 million annual deaths globally are due to avoidable environmental causes, including the climate crisis.

“In Nigeria, climate change is already increasing the vulnerability of health systems. Warming of 2-3°C is estimated to increase the higher risks of malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Lassa fever, cholera, and other diseases especially in coastal regions such as Lagos and Port Harcourt and in the Lake Chad Basin.”

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, in his remarks added: “The current impact of various environmental crises such as climate change, avoidable pollution, food, and waterborne diseases, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, and extreme weather events on the planet’s health and every individual is increasingly difficult to ignore.

This call for urgent action to safeguard our planet and our health in line with the World Health Day theme, the government will bring together experts, policymakers, stakeholders, and development partners to set up a committee to discuss on the central scientific issues to improving and benefiting from healthy planet and respect for the integrity of living creature.”

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