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Hussaini, aged 5, is being treated for malaria in MSF Gwange hospital (Maiduguri, Borno), cared for by his grandmother, Hajja. “He has been having this sickness for about a month, though he has sickle cell anaemia as well,” says Hajja. “If it weren’t for MSF, I wouldn’t have been able to afford his treatment, because Hussaini lost his parents and I too have been alone since my husband died.”
Nigeria has some of the highest number of deaths from malaria worldwide. Usually, peak malaria season takes place during the rainy season from August to mid-October, when mosquitoes breed, after which patient numbers begin to decrease. This year, however, medical teams from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) working in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state have witnessed a spike in malaria cases even into the dry season.
In response to the high numbers of people with malaria and the shortage of antimalarials, MSF has provided the Ministry of Health and other organizations with 120,000 antimalarial tablets after COVID-19 restrictions disrupted or delayed the import of antimalarials to Nigeria.