Each year, at least 13.6 million Nigerians suffer from malaria, the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN) says
Malam Umar Aminu-Imam, President of the association, made the disclosure during the ‘International Environmental Health Day’ celebration held in Katsina as contained in a statement released on Sunday.
The statistics accounted for 25 percent of world’s 54,750,000 malaria cases.
The statement said: “In a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in September 2018, there were 219 million cases of Malaria globally with over 435,000 deaths in 2017 alone.
“African continent accounts for 92 percent of the total cases and 93 percent of the total death.
“Five countries account for 50 percent of the entire global cases; namely Nigeria with 25 percent; Democratic Republic of Congo, 11 per cent; Mozambique 5 per cent; India 4 percent, and Uganda 4 percent.
“Nigeria, with less than 1 percent of the world’s population, account for 25 percent or 54,750,000 cases and over 108,750 lives lost, 61 percent of them or 66,337 are children below the ages of five years. “This gloomy picture was in 2017 alone on malaria.’’
Aminu-Imam added that every year, billions of naira were lost to drugs due to diseases and death from preventable diseases.
He said the diseases that bedevilled Nigeria as a nation like malaria, typhoid, poliomyelitis and diarrheal diseases among others were all exclusively environmentally related diseases.
Aminu-Imam said that the maternal deaths in the country were environmentally related because infections and cultural factors were among the leading causes of maternal and child mortality.
He said most of the interventions currently undertaken and sponsored by NGOs and the governments were curative-based and chemotherapeutic in nature.
“It is the believe of this association that no matter how much money spent in procurement of drugs to combat malaria, no reasonable result would be recorded if the environmental factors are not targeted and addressed.
“All advanced countries were able to eradicate malaria not because of vaccination or drug utilisation but only by improving environmental sanitation of their respective countries.
“Thus the association decided to partner with the Muslim Community College of Health Technology and various MDAs to raise awareness of the community on the dangers of poor sanitation and the consequences of open defecation,” he noted.