WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti

World Health Organization WHO, says Nigeria loses over One billion dollars each year to the scourge of malaria.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti stated this in a message to mark this year’s world malaria day.

According to her, the deficit is caused by malaria-related absenteeism and productivity losses which reduces economic growth and development.

”Every year that we let malaria spread, health and development suffers”

”Malaria is responsible for an average annual reduction of one point three percent (1.3%) in Africa’s economic growth”.

”Malaria-related absenteeism and productivity losses cost Nigeria for example, an estimated one point one ($1.1 Billion) US dollars every year” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti explained.

She said to change the narrative, more resources needed to be channeled to malaria elimination, identifying at-risk populations such as pregnant women and children, providing insecticide treated nets and more doses of intermittent preventive treatment.

The Regional Director cited some challenges such as increasing vector insecticide resistance in the region and genetic mutations of the malaria parasite as threats to the elimination of malaria in Africa.

Dr. Moeti however noted that between year 2000 and 2019, malaria incidence declined by 29% and deaths by 60% with more than 1.2 billion cases and 7.1 million deaths averted in the region.

She outlined some of the countries in the region that have been Certified malaria free to include Ghana, Gambia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cabo Verde and Namibia.