Nigeria has highest number of malaria cases worldwide

Onyebuchi Chukwu, the minister of health for Nigeria, announced that recent successes with malaria case reduction must be continued if the country is to reduce its high number of cases.

Chukwu spoke at a recent ministerial dinner and announced that malaria-related deaths had been reduced by one-third in Africa. He said that Nigeria alone contributes 23 percent of global malaria cases and that 30 percent of child deaths in the country are the result of malaria, Sun News Online reports.

"Over the years we have been making efforts to contain the scourge of malaria in the country," Chukwu said, according to Sun News Online. "Some of which include: massive nationwide distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets - to date 46.8 million LLINs have been distributed so far in 30 states, scale up in the use of Indoor Residual Spraying and larviciding, massive distribution of antimalarial medicines and commodities, capacity building for health workers at both national and states' levels, creation of awareness through radio and television and establishment of effective coordination structures at national and states levels."

Ahmed Aliu, a representative of ExxonMobil, also spoke at the event, stating that the company has contributed $110 million since 2000 to the battle against malaria.

Chioma Amajoh, the national coordinator of the National Malaria Control Program, told those in attendance that Nigerians must be educated in the use of artemisinin-based combination therapy and the need to sleep under LLINs.