Pharmaceutical Firm Launches Fight against Malaria

Rebecca Ejifoma
Worried over the rise in the death of children and pregnant women to malaria, Publix Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited has launched a new product, 80/480 Publitem tablets and suspension – a World Health Organisation-recommended ACT formulation.
The product launch, which held in Lagos recently, attracted renowned pharmaceuticals from Nigeria, India and the United Kingdom. It is said to contain Artemether and Lumefantrin and is formulated in convenient dosing for both adults and children against malaria scourge.
“With this introduction, Publix is set to take the battle against malaria further and collaborate with all stakeholders in the fight against this recalcitrant scourge,” a Director at Publix Pharmaceutical, Akindele Davies said.
Aiming to achieve a malaria-free Nigeria by 2020, Davies noted that Publix is not focused only on profit, but also to contribute to the provision of affordable quality healthcare.
Citing the WHO, the Director decried that in 2015, there were 214 million cases of malaria worldwide. WHO also estimates that globally, there were 655,000 malaria deaths in 2010 with 91 per cent of the deaths occurring in the African region. Statistics show on average, 71 per cent of the Nigerian population is at risk.
Meanwhile, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Ahmed Yakassai, commended the company for the emulative initiative. “Because we are yet to achieve a malaria-free society, Nigerians should join hands to kill malaria.”
The President said unfortunately enough NAFDAC recently unveiled new report on fake and counterfeit products, particularly on anti-malaria. “It has increased from 3.6 to 4.3. That is so Pathetic. I keep asking if it’s due to lack of forex for genuine pharmaceutical company to bring in raw malaria or genuine product.”
Speaking further, Chairman of the company, Mr. Frank Owelle, described pharmaceutical business as a life-saving tool for humanity. “We are doing what we are doing not because we have seen an opportunity to make money. I felt there is need for us to promote good health in the society after an experience I had as a student.”
According to him, Publix is perfecting plans to institute a programme that will give out anti-malaria solutions to people starting with Anambra, Lagos and Kano states where they will donate anti-malaria products to general hospitals so that people can have it for free.
As for Publitem, “It is manufactured by Astamed Healthcare Ltd, in a state-of-the-art, WHO cGMP compliant manufacturing facility based in India under the approval and license of Publix Healthcare, the UK partner of Publix Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited.”