As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Malaria Day, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria admonishes Nigerians to key into the vision of No Mosquito, No Malaria. Prevention is the most effective strategy to fight malaria which is believed to account for over 65 percent of clinical visitations in Nigeria.
Vector control (control of mosquito) is the main way to reduce malaria transmission at the community level from very high levels to close to zero.
Long-lasting insecticidal nets, LLINs, are the preferred form of Insecticide-treated mosquito nets, ITNs, for public health distribution programmes. Persons vulnerable to malaria should sleep under ITNs.
Indoor spraying with residual insecticides, IRS, is a powerful way to rapidly reduce malaria transmission. Indoor spraying is effective for 3 – 6 months, depending on the insecticide used and the type of surface on which it is sprayed.
Antimalarial medicines may also be used to prevent malaria. The officially recommended drugs for intermittent Preventive Therapy, IPTs in Nigeria are Sulphadoxine/Pyrimenthamin, SP.
Do all you can to protect yourself and others from mosquito bite. If you suspect malaria, get help fast, do a quick malaria test and if positive, get the right antimalarial drug (talk with your pharmacist or other healthcare provider). If you do not have access to a test, start malaria treatment (especially in vulnerable group) and seek medical help from your healthcare provider.
Always take your malaria drug as directed and make sure you complete your dose.
Pay extra attention to those most vulnerable to malaria. If you notice any sign of severe malaria, please seek advice on referrals from your pharmacist.
Don’t expose yourself or loved ones to mosquito bite. It is also not advisable to begin taking malaria drug before you have done a test to confirm malaria. Avoid use of “monotherapy” to treat malaria and don’t take your antimalarial drug haphazardly as this may lead to resistant
Role of the pharmacist
Your pharmacist can help you to do a rapid test for malaria and to make the best choice of antimalarial drug. They know when and how best to take your antimalarial drug and also to avoid other drugs, supplements or herbs that may interact with your antimalarial medicine.