Prof. Catherine Falade, a Malariologist and consultant Clinical Pharmacologist at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, says Nigeria treats more than two million patients for malaria every year.
Falade said this at a Webcast session held in Ibadan to mark this year’s World Malaria Day.
The expert, who disclosed that there was a new deadlier type of mosquito called penocide, called for adequate sensitisation in fighting the scourge.
“Penocide is the fifth newly discovered deadliest of the malaria causing mosquitoes; it is life threatening but unfortunately Nigerians don’t see it as death sentence.
“Malaria parasite is always in Nigeria all year round, with major states in the North having the highest morbidity and mortality rates.
“Certain population groups are at the highest risks of having malaria and these included small children who are 5 years and below, pregnant women and HIV patients .
“These groups have low immunity and develop complications like anaemia and cerebral malaria.
“Infants under three months are also vulnerable to attacks and pregnant women have higher risks of premature births and morbidity.
“IDPs in Nigeria also have higher risks and more complications identified with malaria.
“In peak incidence areas in Nigeria, we usually have admission rates, particularly among babies and children.
“Clinical outlook of malaria includes acute anaemia, cerebral malaria and lifelong complications, “ she said.
The malariologist, who said that there had been a positive development in the fight against the scourge since 2010, attributed this to the fact that health professionals had been able to keep to recommended standard WHO practice.
“These include the use of long lasting insecticides treated nets, use of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) recommended by WHO and vector control measures.
“Nigeria has the highest percentage of distribution of malaria prone zone in Africa and therefore government should be ready to allocate more funds to fight this scourge.
“It should be a must for consultants to do microscopic diagnosis for malaria parasite (Plasmodia parasitomia) in the treatment of malaria.
“We still don’t check for malaria parasite when giving blood transfusion and this may lead to complication that is life threatening,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the forum was organised by GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) and viewed from 15 centres in Nigeria simultaneously.
The Company Director of Market Access, Alexandra Spang, disclosed that the 15 centres included Ibadan, Bauchi, Calabar, Akure, Badagry, Ikorodu, Benin and Port Harcourt.
Others are Abuja,Ogun, Kano, Kaduna, Ebonyin Anambra and Lagos – with three centres.
Spang, who is also the company’s Country Representative in Nigeria, described GSK as a science-led global health care company that researches and develops a broad range of innovative products.
The World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25 and the occasion focuses on the global efforts to control malaria.
The theme for this year was “End Malaria for Good.”