Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria (PSN) has urged governments at all levels and pharmacists who are in the frontline in the fight against COVID -19 not to lose sight of malaria.
Speaking on the World Malaria Day 2020 in Lagos, President, PSN, Sam Ohuabunwa, charged government to take healthcare serious and eradicate malaria.
He said: “Many countries have been able to eradicate it with Argentina and Algeria being the latest countries. I hope that the national and global attention paid to healthcare would strengthen government at all levels to give healthcare system the concentration it needs as the fight against malaria should not be given less attention than COVID-19.
“It is something that is possible and very important too. Let’s fight COVID -19 and fight malaria. I hope that the national and global attention paid to healthcare will strengthen our government at states, national and local government levels to take healthcare seriously.
“If malaria, which is killing so many Nigerians especially young and pregnant women had been treated the way it ought to, with the right investment, may be Nigeria would have eradicated it by now.”
He reiterated that pharmacists should not allow malaria to complicate COVID -19 or vice versa. “Do not to lose sight of malaria because after COVID-19, we still have to deal with malaria.”
Ohuabunwa also noted that COVID -19 has created an additional risk factor to malaria in the year 2020. “So, while you might be quite busy dealing with COVID-19 pandemic, I want to advice you not to lose sight of malaria.
“Counsel all patients including those who come with malaria symptoms; teach and advise them not only on how to take their medication. For those who take them prophylactically and those who take it curatively, advise them on prevention, because that is the major issue; to make sure they keep their environment clean and sleep under treated nets to avoid mosquito bite.”
“Personal and environmental hygiene is the synergy between the fight against COVID-19 and malaria. It is critical and important. So, we should use this opportunity to enforce it in our community that everyone needs to keep the environment clean.”
The PSN boss encouraged pharmacists to fight malaria and COVID-19 with all lethal armoury in their pharmacies and in every aspects of their lives.
“I know that right now, the academics and research pharmacists are working, dealing with health sources, pharmaceutical moieties and clinical trials in the different levels. I want to encourage you that our greatest benefit from the COVID 19 is further refocusing on research and development.”