Health  

NAPPMED seeks government support to combat mosquito-borne ailment

A child with severe malaria Photo: William Daniels

The Nigerian Association of Patent Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) Lagos Chapter has called for more support from the government in the fight to combat and eliminate malaria from the country by the year 2020.

As part of NAPPMED efforts to eliminate malaria, the association in conjunction with World Health Organization (WHO) under the sponsorship of Geneith Pharmaceutical Limited hosted an event to commemorate the World Malaria Day.

With the theme: The Role of NAPPMED In The Fight Against Malaria, the association has taken bold steps in sensitizing the citizens, starting with their members who have their shops in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria delivering health care services to the poor and well-meaning Nigerians.

President NAPPMED Lagos chapter, Chief Celestine Kaji, said: “The work of eradicating malaria from Nigeria is not for NAPPMED alone. For malaria to be eradicated from the country in the nearest future, NAPPMED, Pharmacist’s Council of Nigeria (PCN) and the government must come together.”

He appealed to the government to partner with them to wipe out malaria scourge in Nigeria through the engagement of NAPPMED by providing more extensive training on rapid diagnostic test (RTD) for NAPPMED members and other treatments for child illness, build NAPPMED capacity for effective information dissemination and formalize relationship between NAPPMED and other relevant health agencies to improve information exchange and referrals for serious illness.

Kaji added, “Government should give more enlightenment to NAPPMED members on the use of simple and essential medicines in our drug list to meet the daily demand of the general public and should consider us as an important partner in their effort to eliminate malaria in Nigeria.

NAPPMED Lagos state secretary, Godwin Nweke Kingsley, said If government can fully engage NAPPMED in all states, increase the health budget in order to make malaria medicines affordable, available and accessible, it is very achievable for malaria to be fully eradicated from the country.

He added that unity among NAPPMED stake holders is also an important ingredient required for the actualization of this set goal of eliminating malaria as they are nearer to the people, having a broad geographic coverage of 75 per cent of their members located in the rural areas, 55 per cent in semi-urban areas and 45 per cent in urban areas.

Commissioner of Health Lagos state, Dr. Jide Idris, said that malaria is the number one complaint in Nigerian hospitals and the commonest killer of infants and pregnant women in the country. We have a long term plan of eliminating malaria in Nigeria from the year 2014 to 2020.

Director Lagos zonal office of PCN, A. C. Ezeugwu, during the occasion told Nigerians that keeping their environments clean and sleeping under mosquito insecticide treated nets are the starting points in the pursuit of eliminating malaria in Nigeria.

“We create awareness against malaria and enlighten NAPPMED who are the first place care givers to the sick, on how to help eradicate malaria by training them to run rapid diagnostic test to screen the patients that come to them of malaria before administering drugs to them or referring them to the nearest primary health care centre for treatment. We also make sure that the malaria drugs the patent medicine vendors sell are Artemisinin-based combination therapy,” he added.

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