Malaria is a major public health problem in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria has recognised the problem and has been addressing it for years, through primary health care. In 1997, a renewed focus on malaria was initiated, with the first National Malaria Control Policy.
In 2009, the Ministry of Health developed a 5-year National Strategic Plan for Prevention and Control of Malaria (NMSP). The vision is for a malaria-free Nigeria, with ambitious targets for this five year period, including the national scale up LLIN coverage, prompt diagnosis and treatment of malaria, and prevention of malaria in pregnancy.
One of the critical elements needed to achieve malaria scale up is the changing of behavioural and social norms with regard to sleeping under long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs), early and correct diagnosis and treatment of malaria, especially in the most vulnerable parts of society, children under five and pregnant women, and early attention to pregnant women, with a focus on preventing and treating malaria.