The president, Lagos State Medicine Dealers Association (LSMDA), Kelvinson Okpara, has called on the state government to subsidise the cost of malaria drugs to make it affordable to the poor.
Speaking at the commemoration of 2019 World Malaria Day in Lagos, Okpara said the association distributed free malaria drugs, mosquito nets, and carried out sanitisation exercise in major cities of the state.
He urges government to join forces with organisations to fight malaria, while calling for the enforcement of laws against drug peddlers as well as take pragmatic steps to ensure zero malaria presence in the state.
On his part, the Secretary General of LSMDA, Hon. Chuks Ezenwile, said everyone should take malaria scourge seriously.
He also warned that people must undergo medical test to ascertain the cause of any illness before dispensing any therapy.
“People should stop assuming that every sickness is malaria. There should be a test first and results will spell out what to treat. This is necessary, especially for pregnant women and children under four years to avoid mistreatment, which can lead to death,” he said.
Ezenwile said the association was engaging its members in capacity building, revealing: “We train our members every week with experts from Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN) and other international medical bodies educating them.”
He said the association was committed to smoke out imposters and recalcitrant members giving it a bad name by their unwholesome activities.
“We are not sleeping in our fight against imposters and we are not relenting on recalcitrant members; we are working against quackery and this fight we must finish,” he said.
The first Vice President of the association, Alphonsus Okoroji, implored the public to maintain high sanitation principle and always use mosquito nets to avoid mosquito parasites.
“Malaria is one of the top killer diseases in the world; so it’s better to keep our environment clean than taking drugs. We know health is wealth and cleanliness is next to Godliness. We must keep our bodies and environment clean always,” he advised.
Okoroji also revealed that LSMDA was working with NAFDAC, SON and other government agencies to eliminate drugs hawkers in the state, saying people should only buy medicine from registered dealers to avoid taking expired drugs.
“We have a task force working with government agencies to eradicate drugs hawkers in the streets, because any medicine (even original ones) and those under the sun are automatically damaged. Besides, our chairmen/persons have our mandate to quiz all drug peddlers within their vicinity,” he added.