According to a new research, findings showed that 9 in 10 Nigerian youth want to take personal action in the fight against malaria, with over half (58%) believing the disease can be eliminated in their lifetimes.
With COVID-19 diverting attention from malaria, over half (58%) believe they are the generation to end the disease, despite the country having the world’s highest malaria burden.
A new survey released by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, in collaboration with Gallup International, explores attitudes to malaria among young people aged 18-34 in six countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.
The data showed that youth in Nigeria are most likely to volunteer their time to support malaria control efforts.
It added that this support comes from distributing mosquito nets or supporting community clean-up activities (52%), even ahead of simply sharing information about malaria on social media (49%).
Also, a quarter also hope to make a difference by calling on national policymakers (28%) or engaging community leaders (23%) to prioritize malaria stressing that,” 90% of youth in Nigeria already take preventative measures to protect themselves and their families against the disease.”
However, only a fifth (20%) of youth surveyed in Nigeria believe leaders are doing enough to end malaria.
“This sentiment was most pronounced in urban areas, where youth are significantly less likely to agree policymakers are doing enough (19%) than youth living in rural areas (35%).
“The ongoing spread of COVID-19 threatens the malaria response, and the full impact is not yet known – particularly in highly affected countries like Nigeria, which accounts for a quarter of all malaria cases and deaths worldwide.
“In 2020, frontline health workers and governments including Nigeria, with support from partners, sustained more than 90% of mosquito net distribution and seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaigns in 30 countries, avoiding a worst-case scenario of a doubling of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 alone.”
Despite these efforts, the majority of youth in the country – 58% – feel national attention towards malaria has decreased during the pandemic.