Friday, May 6, 2011

In Nigeria, 300,000 children die from malaria annually

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Edo State commissioner for local government and chieftancy affairs, Victor Enoghama, says malaria is the leading cause of absenteeism in the workplace and schools

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Recent statistics have shown that a child under five years of age dies every 30 minutes in Nigeria from malaria-related diseases. This translates to about 300,000 deaths annually, an official of Society for Family Health, Magdalene Okolo said yesterday in Benin City.
Mrs Okolo, who spoke at a Malaria Day event, further revealed that 63 percent of all hospital attendance in Nigeria and 70 percent of illnesses in five-year-olds are due to malaria, which she said also leads to school absenteeism.
“The Society for Family Health is committed to kicking malaria out of Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general,” she said, and called on Nigerians to join in the fight to eradicate malaria. “The battle against malaria is a collective one, and all hands must be on deck. We cannot afford to fail in the fight against this killer of our future generation and dream.”
Absent workers and children
The Edo State commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Victor Enoghama, said there are over 110 million clinically diagnosed cases of malaria in Nigeria, out of which 300,000 children die every year.
“Malaria is a leading cause of absenteeism in the work place and schools,” he said.
However, Mr Enoghama blamed the scourge of malaria on poverty. He said the disease is responsible for the diversion of resources that could have otherwise been used for family upkeep and education, towards the purchase of drugs for the treatment of recurrent malaria attacks.
The official restated the commitment of the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to the eradication of malaria in Edo State. “This is why malaria treatment is free for pregnant women and children under five years in all government hospitals in the state,” he said.


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