In Africa, a third of malaria drugs sold are substandard – NIMR

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By Esther Onyegbula

Expert in malaria control has declared that estimated one third of anti malaria drugs sold in Nigeria and Africa at large are fake or substandard.

The Coordinator Malaria Research Group, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Dr. Sam Awolola, who stated this recently at a symposium organised by NIMR to mark World Malaria Day in Lagos, said: “In spite improvement in Malaria interventions, the parasite remains high with challenges range from issues of illegal trade in counterfeit malaria commodities especially drugs which has become so bad that for Africa as a whole.

“It is estimated that one third of all malaria drugs sold are fake or substandard, in parts of Africa including Nigeria,as much as 80 percent of malaria medicines traded has no active ingredient or too little, there by fueling the emergence of drug resistance.”

In his presentation on the “Challenges of Malaria  Diagnosis and Treatment”,  similarly, Professor Wellington Oyibo Consultant Medical Parasitologist and Associate Professor at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, lamented that “despite the policy in 2005 that stopped the use of chloroquine as anti malaria drug, chloroquine is still used in many quarters because of poor information, lack of knowledge and poverty”.

He further noted that presently government is making available rapid malaria test which can be conducted within 20 minutes to ensure that people are tested for malaria before undergoing treatment.

In line with the theme for this years celebration, “Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria”; our main goal is should be to ensure that the gains on investments in malaria should be consolidated. Malaria though preventable, treatable and curable is still a serious problem that requires the effort s of all government, health service professionals, multinational corporations and development partners to join hand to effectively curb the scourge.

The event which was mutually organised by the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research,  New Nigeria Foundation, NFF, and Lagos State Ministry of Health LAMOH was held to reflect on what could be done to the malaria burden worldwide.

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