Pharmacists Partner Lagos to End Malaria Scourge

Chairman, AHAPN, Dr. Kingsley Amibor

Martins Ifijeh

The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) has partnered the Lagos State Government to end malaria scourge in the state.

Making this known during the commemoration of the 2019 World Malaria Day in Lagos recently, the National Chairman, AHAPN, Dr. Kingsley Amibor said the collaboration was necessary because Nigeria suffers the world’s greatest malaria burden with approximately 15 million cases and 207,000 deaths reported annually.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me, with sub theme: ‘Continued Relevance of Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACTs) in the treatment of malaria, he said: “Malaria is a huge burden confronting us as a nation which births the need for us to conduct a free screening test to rapidly end and completely eliminate the plasmodium parasites from patients’ blood.”

He however stressed the need for confirmatory test before the treatment of malaria.

He said: “The importance of diagnosis testing cannot be overemphasised. Patients with suspected malaria should have parasitological confirmation of diagnosis before starting anti-malaria treatment, which is why AHAPN is organising the free mass screening for malaria today.”

In her presentation, the Director of Pharmaceutical Service, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Moyosere Adejumo, identified malaria as a huge public health challenge facing the nation.

She said: “The theme is apt in time in view of the collective responsibilities of all stakeholders, including the government at all levels, professional bodies, healthcare workers, civil society organisations, communities, corporate organisations and even individuals to reduce the scourge of malaria.

“It is pertinent to note that several malaria interventions being implemented have produced some gains in terms of decline in malaria prevalence and mortality.

“The war against malaria is one that must be won. The Lagos State Government is very committed to this fight; we must all come together to fight malaria and this can be achieved when we begin to realize that ‘Zero Malaria starts with me.’’

Also, the AHAPN Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Titilayo Onedo, described malaria as a life-threatening scourge that should be eradicated.

She said, “Recent research shows that environmental degradation add to the spread of malaria; hence, we are mobilising the people to ensure a clean environment as well as the use of the preventive anti-malaria measures and appropriate diagnosis cannot be over emphasised.”

Onedo said the screening conducted by the association to commemorate the day cut across kidney disease, sugar level and high blood pressure.

“We screened 200 participants for malaria parasites. Over 1000 doses of adult and children anti-malarial were donated,” Onedo said.