By Royal Ibeh |
59 per cent of Nigerians have treated malaria within the last three months, as cases of malaria in the country increase to 296 per 1000 population in recent times, says a study.
The study conducted by NOIPolls, a public opinion and research organisation based in Nigeria, in the week commencing April 12, 2021.
The study involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning male and female Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geo-political regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English and English.
Findings from the study, indicated that 59 per cent of Nigerians have treated malaria within the last 3 months and 47 per cent of the respondents, acknowledged that they visited a hospital due to illness while 53 per cent answered negatively.
Of the 47 per cent of respondents who went to hospital for treatment, the study shows that 83 per cent were diagnosed of Malaria, while 25 per cent were diagnosed of Typhoid fever.
Others include Ulcer, accounting for six per cent; Arthritis three per cent, and Coronavirus one per cent amongst others, says the study as 84 per cent were male and 83 per cent females were diagnosed of malaria, the study reveals.
Similarly, of the 53 per cent who had previously stated that they do not visit the hospital when ill, 45 per cent of the respondents revealed that they have treated malaria within the last three months. On the contrary, 55 per cent of the respondents stated that they have not treated malaria within the last 3 months.
When asked about the symptoms of malaria, 67 per cent of the respondents mentioned Fever with shivering, 72 per cent stated loss of appetite and 52 per cent mentioned headache. Other symptoms mentioned include body pain (34 per cent), while respondents who mentioned fever with sweat and catarrh (8 percent each) amongst other malaria symptoms.
The poll revealed that 57 per cent of the respondents disclosed that they go to the hospital when they have symptoms of malaria. The North-East zone accounts for 82 per cent and North-West zone accounts for 73 per cent. While 16 per cent mentioned that they go to a pharmacy, 15 per cent stated that they go to a chemist.
Sadly, nine per cent of Nigerians rely on self-medication when they have symptoms of malaria and this is peculiar to Nigerians residing in the North-Central (15 per cent) and South-West (17 per cent).
From these findings, NOIPolls however recommended that it is imperative for the government to tackle the malaria disease swiftly with the support of donor agencies by investing the resources needed to combat the scourge.
“Malaria control in Nigeria will cease to be a mirage and become a reality with a little more strategic and prioritized effort. Therefore, concerted, and spirited effort in tackling the malaria scourge will support and align with the agenda of the 2021 World Malaria Day which is Reaching The Zero-Malaria Target,” it said.