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WHO: Nigeria, DR Congo, Niger accounted for over half of global malaria deaths in 2022

WHO: Nigeria, DR Congo, Niger accounted for over half of global malaria deaths in 2022
December 01
14:03 2023

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Nigeria is among the four African countries that accounted for over half of global malaria deaths in 2022.

In a report released on Thursday, the organisation said an estimated 249 million malaria cases were recorded in 85 endemic countries and areas across the world in 2022.

The organisation said Nigeria contributed over 1.3 million malaria cases to the estimated figure in 2022.

The report said Nigeria accounted for 31 out of 95 percent of malaria deaths recorded across 29 countries within the same year.

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“Globally in 2022, there were an estimated 249 million malaria cases in 85 malaria-endemic countries and areas (including the territory of French Guiana), an increase of 5 million cases compared with 2021,” the report reads.

“The main countries contributing to the increase were Pakistan (+2.1 million), Ethiopia (+1.3 million), Nigeria (+1.3 million), Uganda (+597 000) and Papua New Guinea (+423 000).

“Twenty-nine countries accounted for 95% of malaria cases globally.

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“Four countries – Nigeria (27%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%) and Mozambique (4%) – accounted for almost half of all cases globally.

“The WHO African region, with an estimated 233 million cases in 2022, accounted for about 94% of cases globally.

“About 96% of malaria deaths globally were in 29 countries.

“Four countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths globally in 2022 – Nigeria (31%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Niger (6%) and the United Republic of Tanzania (4%).”

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The report said about 2.1 billion cases of malaria and 11.7 million deaths caused by the disease were prevented between the period of 2000 and 2022 globally.

“Most of the cases and deaths averted were in the WHO African region (cases 82%, deaths 94%), followed by the WHO south-east Asia region (cases 10%, deaths 3%),” the report said.

“In 2022, in 33 moderate and high transmission countries in the WHO African region, there were an estimated 35.4 million pregnancies, of which 12.7 million (36%) were exposed to malaria infection during pregnancy.

“By WHO subregion, the prevalence of exposure to malaria during pregnancy in 2022 was highest in west Africa (39.3%) and central Africa (40.1%), and lower in the east and southern Africa subregion (27.0%).”

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The report also highlighted the impacts of climate change on malaria spread globally, adding that “it is the single biggest health threat facing humanity”.

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