An assesment of the spatial pattern of malaria infection in Nigeria


Onwuemele Andrew

Malaria transmitted by female anopheles mosquitoes is a major cause of death in many developing countries of the world. In Nigeria, malaria prevalence is as high as 80 to 85% and is the most common cause of outpatient visits to health facilities. The malaria situation in Nigeria is very burdensome and it impedes human development. The degree of malaria infestation varies from region to region in Nigeria. This spatial attribute of malaria infestation across regions necessitate the needs for malaria mapping among researchers. Also, the rate of malaria infection across space depends on dynamic processes involving complex climatic, environmental, physical, and social variables operating differently in space. This complexity makes the analysis of the spatial pattern of malaria infection in Nigeria important. Such analysis can explain the variations, providing a basis for policy intervention. It is against this background that this paper examines the spatial patterns of malaria infestation in Nigeria. Malaria data for fifteen years (1993 to 2007) were collected from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Data Bank, Roll Back Malaria/Epidemiological Unit of both the Federal and State Ministries of Health for twentythree states in Nigeria. The pattern of spatial variation in the rate of malaria infection was analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA). The results indicate that seasonal variations play significant roles in malaria infection in Nigeria. It also shows high concentration of malaria infections in some few states. This paper therefore recommends that deliberate effort should be made to increase the distribution of treated mosquito nets and drugs in the affected states and an increment in the financial allocation to the affected states by the Federal Ministry of Health with a few to reducing the effect of the disease in the affected states.


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