Malaria a major reason for health challenges in Nigeria – NBS

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Malaria is a major reason for health challenges in Nigeria, according to a new report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Nigeria Living Standard Survey (NLSS) report, published on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, collected a comprehensive and diverse set of socio-economic and demographic data pertaining to the basic needs and conditions under which Nigerian households live on a day-to-day basis.

The study showed that more than 51.7 per cent of those who reported health issues mentioned malaria as a top health concern.

The figure is slightly higher in urban areas where 52.8 per cent report malaria as a health concern, compared to 51.2 per cent in rural areas.

The highest prevalence of the disease, caused by infected mosquitoes, was reported in Zamfara 65.4 per cent, and the lowest in Bauchi 30.8 per cent.

The study showed that only about half the Nigerian population use insecticide-treated mosquito bed-net, with 49.9 per cent and 52.4 per cent of males and females, respectively.

The other most reported health concerns, according to the NBS study, are body pains 7.2 per cent, headache 6.1 per cent, ulcer/stomach pain 5.6 per cent, and catarrh 4.9 per cent.

A major share of ill people prefers to visit chemists in search of medical treatment, more than the population of people that decide to go to the hospitals.

On average, the study showed that it takes about two hours and nine minutes to reach and receive consultations in the hospitals, but only 50 minutes in pharmacies or with a local chemist.

While 80 per cent of respondents who decided not to seek medical treatment for health problems reported having minor illnesses, around 14 per cent said they were precluded from seeking medical help because of how expensive it is.

The NBS also noted that around 1.4 per cent of Nigeria’s population is disabled, with the highest concentration in Yobe.

The study, conducted between September 2018 and October 2019, sampled information from all over the country except for Borno State which has areas inaccessible due to terrorist activities.

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