Forty-two percent of Nigerian children infected with malaria

According to a survey conducted by the National Malaria Control Program, 42 percent of Nigerian children are infected with the malaria parasite.

The 2010 National Malaria Indicator Survey showed that the infection rate increased with age and decreased with wealth. The survey tested children between the ages of six and 59 months in 6,197 households in six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, All Africa reports.

The results showed that more children tended to have malaria as they got older, but were less susceptible if their families lived in urban areas or had higher socioeconomic status. The prevalence of the malaria parasite was at 23 percent in urban areas and 48 percent in rural areas. The southwest zone had the highest malaria prevalence, which may be connected to being the zone with the lowest use of insecticide-treated nets. Only eight percent of children in the zone used the nets.

"We don't want to repeat that malaria is a scourge but that is a fact," Chioma Amajoh, the national coordinator of the NMCP, said, according to All Africa.

Nigeria accounts for one-quarter of the malaria cases in Africa. The continent has more than 30 percent of the worldwide burden of malaria.

The survey was funded by NMCP, USAID, DFID, World Bank and Global Funds.