WHO and partners take on malaria: the top killer in north-eastern Nigeria

WHO estimates up to 10 000 lives could be saved by November through malaria prevention and control, if more funds are secured.

Following more than 8 years of conflict in Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria, some 3.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and all are at risk for malaria. WHO estimates that every week, around 8500 people are infected with the disease in Borno state. With the high transmission season for malaria lasting through October, WHO expects these numbers will increase.

In Borno state, WHO estimates more than half of deaths recorded are currently due to malaria, more than all other causes of death combined, including cholera, measles and hepatitis E. A highly vulnerable population, consisting largely of children (58.8%), is at risk of disease outbreaks.

With more than 60% of health facilities only partially functioning, many people have not had access to regular health services, including routine vaccinations and basic medicines, for years.In addition to security concerns, acute malnutrition caused by food insecurity is rising in parts of the state. Between malnutrition and death is virtually always disease, and malaria often turns cases of malnourishment deadly.