Wait a second. Why do these questions keep pouring in. a) Doc, I took artesunate and I still have fever, which other anti-malarial drug should I take? b) Doc, I have taken laridox, malareich, amala, fansidar, camoquine etc, and I still feel weak. What next should I take? Or c) Doc, I took armatem, amatef, lumartem, halfan etc, and I am not okay, which other anti malaria drug should I take.
Now the facts
• I noticed that all those who consulted me, had already taken anti-malaria before seeing me.
• Do you know that in Africa, because we do not operate a strict prescription system, everybody self-medicates when it comes to anti-malaria.
• Ask yourself, “when did I consult a doctor first, before treating myself for malaria?” None. You see. We are all guilty. We only consult a doctor if one or two types of anti-malaria drugs we had taken did not cure us.
• So, please imagine the dilemma of health officials, including pharmacists and chemists, where everybody is a doctor when it comes to treatment of malaria. ¤ “Please give me fansidar, that is the only drug I take when I have malaria”. Of course there will be no doctor’s prescription nor laboratory tests. ¤ “If I have malaria, and I don’t take camoquine, it will never go”, and this is a patient consulting a doctor. So now you know everybody needs help.
Some incontrovertible facts about malaria treatment
• Based on scientifically valid studies, it has been found, as I had stated ad-nauseam. In treatment of malaria, whenever we have actual fever, since we all self-prescribe. We should take anti-malaria that is a one-time-dose. Or that which dose completion should not exceed 18 hours. Reason; in case what you have is not malaria, then, there could still be room to save you from the complication of whatever caused your fever, say enteric fever.
• If you are only feeling weak and no fever, since you always treat yourself for malaria, you can then buy your artesunate and similar drugs which treatment last 3 to 5 days, since there is no actual fever, then there will be no fear of complications.
• Listen carefully, any anti-malaria drug that has a-green-leaf-logo, with “ACTm”, on its packet – has been highly subsidised up to 95% by five charity organisations namely i) National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), ii) Society for Family Health (SFH), iii) Global Fund(GF). iv) Melinda Gates Foundation (MGF). And v) Dangote Foundation (DF).
Mrs Ernest Nwokolo, a Malaria Programme Director of the Society for Family Health, has advised citizens to look out for drugs with the green leaf logo on their packets. She explained that, the Private Sector Procurement Mechanism means that the Global Fund pays money to the manufacturer. If the drug is supposed to cost one dollar(100cents), they subsidise 95 cents that is 95%.
The manufacturer sells the drug to people we call, first-line-users, who buy at 5 cents. So they can now sell all those drugs at very cheap rates. Mrs Nwokolo asked citizens not to be misled into buying higher priced anti-malaria drugs, of the same quality with that of the green-leaf-logo, with the erroneous assumption that they are of superior quality. She said that malaria drugs with green logo, are produced by same company that produces those expensive malaria drugs, and accused pharmacies of exploiting and maximising the ignorance of the masses for company gains.