The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released the malaria report for 2021, saying Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accounted for global deaths from the disease.
While Nigeria had 31 percent of fatalities, DRC recorded 13 percent of global deaths, and the other two countries trailing behind included the Niger Republic – 4% and the United Republic of Tanzania – 4%.
According to the report obtained on Friday, the four countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths globally in 2021.
Despite the continued impact of COVID-19, the organisation said malaria cases and deaths remained stable last year.
With 247 million malaria cases and 619,000 deaths globally in 2021, the figures show an increase of two million cases and a decrease of six million deaths compared to the start of the pandemic in 2019.
“Twenty-nine countries accounted for 96% of malaria cases globally, and 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 report read in part.
“About 96% of malaria deaths globally were in 29 countries. Four countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths globally in 2021: Nigeria (31%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (13%), the Niger (4%), and the United Republic of Tanzania (4%).”
The health body also revealed that countries around the world largely held the line against further setbacks to malaria prevention, testing and treatment services in 2021 as opposed to 2020 when the COVID pandemic disrupted malaria services, leading to a marked increase in cases and deaths.
The agency added, “In 2021, countries distributed 223 million rapid diagnostic tests (RDT), a similar level reported before the pandemic.
“In 2021, insecticide-treated nets (ITN) distributions were strong overall and at similar levels to pre-pandemic years: 171 million ITNs planned for distribution, 128 million (75%) were distributed.”