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List of Common Diseases in Nigeria and their Preventions

The population of Nigeria is being impacted by a staggering number of different illnesses. Access to health care for Nigeria’s nomads is a big problem that makes it hard for the country to control, get rid of, and get rid of infectious diseases.

List of Common Disease in Nigeria and their Preventions

Table of contents

6 Common Diseases in Nigeria and their Preventions

1. Cholera

Cholera is a disease that is transmitted through water and is characterized by a rapid onset of diarrhea as well as other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and weakness. In the year 2021, it is only one of the numerous illnesses that will be affecting Nigeria. People who have cholera and do not obtain treatment run the risk of dying from the illness since it causes dehydration. The majority of infected people can have their electrolytes and fluids restored with the assistance of a straightforward oral rehydration solution (ORS). The ORS is offered as a powder that may be dissolved in either warm or cold water. However, without treatment for dehydration, approximately half of those infected with cholera will pass away, whereas the number of fatalities drops to less than one percent when treatment is administered.

In August 2021, Nigeria started to observe an increase in the number of cases of cholera, particularly in the north of the nation, which has the least developed medical infrastructure in the country. According to Dr. Bashir Lawan Muhammad, the state epidemiologist and deputy director of public health for Kano State, the increase in reported cases might be attributed to the onset of the rainy season. There is also the fact that authorities in the north have been engaged in a conflict with Islamist extremists. In Nigeria, 22 of the country’s 36 states have reported possible instances of cholera, an infectious disease that may be fatal if it is not treated. Since March 2021, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control reports that 186 individuals in Kano have passed away as a result of cholera, which accounts for the majority of the 653 fatalities throughout the nation.

Causes of Cholera in Nigeria

Cholera bacteria invade the body through the mouth, usually in food or water that has been contaminated with human waste because of bad sanitation and hygiene.

They can also get in by eating raw or partially cooked seafood, especially shellfish that live in estuaries, like oysters or crabs.

Infections can also come from vegetables that haven’t been cleaned well and were watered with dirty water.

In places with poor sanitation, such as refugee camps or villages with very few water sources, it is possible for a single person with the disease to contaminate all of the drinking water for an entire community.

Cholera Prevention in Nigeria

  • Consume only fruit that has been peeled by you.
  • Salads, raw seafood, and raw vegetables should all be avoided.
  • Make sure the meal is cooked all the way through.
  • Be very certain that the water you want to drink has been boiled or bottled.
  • Stay away from food sold on the street since it can be contaminated with cholera or another disease.


The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the only thing that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

One of the bad things that HIV does to the body is weaken the immune system. This makes the person more likely to get sick from a wide range of diseases.

Nearly 3 million people in Nigeria are living with HIV/AIDS. This makes it one of the countries with the most people with this potentially life-threatening disease. India and South Africa are in first and second place, respectively, and Nigeria is in third place worldwide.

HIV/AIDS has killed close to a million people in Nigeria, and it is also thought to be one of the leading causes of death and disability among mothers. This should be a concern for both the people and the government.

Still, it’s important to remember that HIV/AIDS is one of the diseases for which there is no cure yet. It can only be treated with certain drugs and medicines.

Causes of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

  • Having sexual contact with an infected person without protection.
  • Sharing sharp things with someone who has the disease.
  • Getting a blood transfusion from an infected person.

HIV/AIDS Prevention in Nigeria

  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Don’t shave in public shops.
  • Don’t give sharp things to other people, especially needles.
  • Don’t get a blood transfusion from someone who is sick.
  • Cleanliness is important.

3. Malaria

Malaria is another disease that people in Nigeria have to deal with. Malaria is caused by parasites that spread to people through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitos. In 2019, there were 229 million cases of malaria around the world, and 409,000 people died from it. Children under 5 years old are the most likely to get malaria, and in 2019, they caused 274,000 deaths, or 67% of all malaria deaths around the world. In the WHO African Region, 94% of malaria cases and deaths took place in the same year. Malaria can be prevented and treated, but the parasite that causes it most often in Africa, P. Falciparum, can cause severe illness and death within 24 hours.

USAID and the CDC lead the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), which works with other groups to help more than 41 million Nigerians. Even though COVID-19 made things hard in 2020, the PMI was able to help Nigeria give out 14.7 million malaria treatment doses, of which 8.2 million went to pregnant women and kids. The PMI also gave out 7.1 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs), 7.2 million rapid test kits, and trained 9,300 health workers to diagnose and treat malaria patients. Before the PMI, only 23% of Nigerian homes had bed nets, but that number has gone up to 43% since 2010. The PMI also wants to improve health systems and the skills of people who work in health care so they can better help people with malaria.

Causes of Malaria in Nigeria

“Anopheles mosquito” is the main cause of malaria.

If this mosquito bites you while it has parasites, you will also get parasites, which could lead to malaria.

Malaria Prevention in Nigeria

  • knowing about the risk.
  • using insect repellent and covering the arms and legs to stop mosquito bites.
  • When going to a place where malaria is common, you should take antimalarial pills.
  • if someone thinks they might have the disease, getting a quick diagnosis and treatment.
  • giving the vaccine to kids who live in areas where malaria is common.

Antimalarial medication has an effectiveness rate of around 90% in preventing malaria. Even if a person takes these medications, they should still take precautions to avoid being bitten while they are in an area where there is a high risk of contracting the disease.

4. Pneumonia

Bacteria, viruses, fungus, or chemical and physical harm may all cause pneumonia. It is an inflammation of the lungs that usually comes after a bacterial or viral infection of the respiratory tract.

Another major and common disease in Nigeria is pneumonia. Every year, millions of people in the country get pneumonia, and it kills thousands of people every year.

Signs of pneumonia may vary widely depending on the underlying state of the patient as well as the etiology of the pneumonia. The following are some of the common symptoms related with pneumonia:

  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulty

Causes of Pneumonia in Nigeria

There are a number of different microorganisms that may cause pneumonia. However, the bacteria and viruses that are floating about in the air are the most significant contributors to the development of this illness.

Despite the fact that the body makes constant efforts to prevent the lungs from being infected, the immune system may still be defeated by infectious agents regardless of how healthy a person is.

Pneumonia Prevention in Nigeria

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wash hands
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle
  •  Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough rest
  • Drink enough water to minimize congestion

5. Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the fluid and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. It may be caused by a number of different organisms. Meninges is the name given to these membranes. In Nigeria, meningitis often occurs during clustered epidemics like the one that occurred in April 2017, which resulted in the deaths of more than one thousand people.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, which often manifests as symptoms such as a headache, fever, and a stiff neck.

Causes of Meningitis in Nigeria

Most of the time, meningitis is caused by a viral infection. Then come bacterial infections, and sometimes fungal and parasitic infections.

Meningitis Prevention in Nigeria

  • Wash your hands
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Stay healthy
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • If you’re pregnant, take care with food

6. Diarrheal

The gastrointestinal infection known as diarrhea is often brought on by bacteria and viruses. In addition to this, it may be contracted by the consumption of contaminated food or water.

The following are some of its more prevalent symptoms:

  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Loose, watery stool
  • Abnormal bowel movements
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Bloody stool
  • Stool with mucus 

Causes of Diarrheal in Nigeria

  • Ingestion of contaminated food or water
  • Poor personal, domestic hygiene
  • Excess intake of artificial sweeteners
  • Lack of adequate breastfeeding
  • Medications such as antibiotics, cancer drugs, and antacids
  • Lack of access to safe drinking-water supplies
  • Poor eating habits

Diarrheal Prevention in Nigeria

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats
  • Be very careful about what you eat or drink
  • Drink only clean, treated water
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Keep your environment clean always 
  • Be very hygienic

Obianuju Chukwu

She has a degree in pharmacy and has worked in the field as a pharmacist in a hospital. Teaching, blogging, and producing scientific articles are some of her interests. She enjoys writing on various topics relating to health and medicine, including health and beauty-related natural treatments, the nutritional worth of various foods, and mental wellness.

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