On this year’s World Malaria Day, pharmacists under the aegis of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN has said that Nigeria has the potentials to eliminate Malaria by 2025 if it introduces free malaria test and treatment for under 5s and pregnant women, environmental re-engineering, health education as well as invest in research and development.
Making the assertion in a message to mark the day in Nigeria, President of the PSN, Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa explained that malaria is a disease of Public Health importance and influenced by the environment, hence the need for government to be intentional with town planning and discourage unauthorised constructions that disrupt waterways.
Ohuabunwa said drainages must be covered to discourage forming mosquitoes breathing sites.
Continuing, he insisted that Nigeria must begin to introduce free malaria test and treatment for under-fives and pregnant women as early and an accurate diagnosis was essential for rapid and effective disease management and surveillance. “Misdiagnosis allows disease progression from uncomplicated to severe. An estimated 65 per cent of Nigeria’s population live in poverty. Though there is the National policy of Artemisinin-based Combined
Therapy ( ACT ), which costs about N1,200 as the first-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria, current data indicates that over 70 per cent of children treated for malaria in Nigeria received chloroquine or sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine ( SP ) with an average cost of N200.
Ohuabunwa said government and corporate organisations should partner and provide free malaria rapid test kit and ACTs/SPs at community pharmacies for treatment for pregnant women and under 5s.