SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Eleven precent of Nigerian infant deaths attributed to malaria

Eleven percent of maternal deaths in Nigeria occur from malaria, according to a recent study by Jhpiego, a non-governmental agency and an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University.

Emmanuel Otolorin, the country director of Jhpiego, said that approximately 20 percent of children who die before the age of five die of malaria, PremiumTimesNG.com reports.

"Eleven percent of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth die because of malaria, about 20 percent of children who die before the age of five die because of malaria, so malaria is a big problem; in fact, there are more deaths from malaria in Nigeria than deaths from HIV, leprosy, tuberculosis all put together," Otolorin said, according to PremiumTimesNG.com.

Otolorin emphasized the need for awareness so that more pregnant women and children could be given access to malaria vaccines and treatment.

"There are very simple interventions that have been identified by WHO and in the global bodies for controlling malaria in pregnancy, but the problem is that in this country, a very low percentage of pregnant women access such interventions," Otolorin said, PremiumTimesNG.com reports. "Every pregnant woman should take an anti-malaria drug at least twice in pregnancy, whether or not she has symptoms of malaria, because we know that when they don't have symptoms of malaria, they have malaria parasite in their blood."