By Chioma Obinna
As part of the efforts to join the global community to ‘Beat Malaria’, Fidson Healthcare Plc has called on all Nigerians to embark on nationwide preventive actions against the threat of malaria.
The Marketing Manager, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Friday Enaholo made this call recently during the Community Health Outreach held at Odonla Primary Healthcare Centre as part of the company’s activities to increase awareness and promote advocacy against malaria in Nigeria.
Enaholo advised Nigerians to fight malaria by preventing infection through the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, ITNs, and indoor residual spraying (IRS). He also identified improved sanitation and avoidance of stagnant bodies of water as other veritable means of controlling malaria.
He expressed concern over malaria scourge in Nigeria, citing the 2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey reports on statistics credited to the National Malaria Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, which estimated that about 110 million clinically diagnosed cases of malaria and nearly 300,000 malaria-related childhood deaths occur each year. The report also indicated that in Nigeria, malaria is responsible for approximately 60 percent of outpatient visits, 30 percent of admissions, and also believed to contribute up to 11 percent of maternal mortality, 25 percent of infant mortality, and 30 percent of under-5 mortality.
Enahoro further explained that as a leading pharmaceutical company, Fidson is committed to the fight against malaria in Nigeria, primarily through the several enlightenment campaigns in communities as well as the provision and distribution of high-quality antimalarial drugs at affordable prices. “We are aware that there is a direct link between poverty and incidence of malaria. Therefore, the cost of therapy must be affordable for patients to reduce the economic burden of malaria on them. This is one major role that we play as a company”, he said
Speaking, Product Manager, Antimalarial, Mr Adesoji Fasanya, said the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s report on Malaria in Nigeria is very alarming, as it shows that Nigeria has the largest volume of malaria cases recorded in any single country globally.
Fasanya further said that a bigger concern is the fact that malaria is preventable, but most people, especially those living in rural or semi-urban areas don’t even know how to prevent it.
“This is why as a responsible indigenous pharmaceutical company; we are actively participating in this global campaign by enlightening Nigerians, through all possible communication channels on how they can prevent the spread of malaria”.
Fasanya added that the company also ensures increased advocacy on behalf of the low-income earners. “We are always talking about malaria prevention and control as well as an increase in awareness of the disease. To that extent, we partner with various stakeholders in the healthcare sector in this respect. We have sales representatives all over the country who engage in talks with pregnant women, school children, the general public. Malaria is a preventable disease. We therefore need to stop losing lives to this disease. People need to be aware of how to reduce the chances of a vector bite. That alone is a major step in combating malaria”.
He advised Nigerians to make deliberate and preventive efforts by keeping their environment clean, removing stagnant water from their environment, consistently using long lasting insecticide treated nets and proper diagnosis before treatment.