As Nigeria join the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s World Malaria Day, the Lagos State Medicine Dealers Association (LSMDA) has said that all hands must be on deck to completely eradicate the disease.
The group made this known on Wednesday in an interview with newsmen at the sports indoors of the National Stadium in Lagos on the sidelines of a programme to mark World Malaria Day.
The president of the association, Kelvinson Okpara, who spoke on the theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Ready To Beat Malaria’, stressed on the need to join hands in order to eradicate malaria completely. This, he said, can only be achieved by massive sensitization.
“As part of the celebration we organised a road walk earlier on today to sensitize the general public on malaria, letting them know the dangers and the way out. We also let them know that prevention is better than cure this we did by distributing free anti malarial drugs.
“As you know the most vulnerable people as far as malaria is concern are the pregnant women and children below the ages of 5, so having the road walk was a good way to sensitize the general public.
“Aside from the road walk, you will notice that there are exhibitions by different pharmaceuticals companies selling their various anti malarial drugs at a very affordable this is all to celebrate today. These companies are the ones that supposed this program today which is in its fifth edition.”
While speaking at the event, the Austin Ojojoh Ighekpe the commander of Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ajah, who spoke on the issue of drug abuse, decried that there has been cases of people complaining about antimalarials not functioning as it is meant to.
“While we are celebrating with the world on this occasion of World Malaria Day, we will not fail to educate you on the hazard of abusing drugs, especially malaria drugs. We have had cases of people complaining that they are taking drugs and it’s not working, but they don’t know that their body has gotten so used to malaria drugs like Artemether and Lumefantrine that it doesn’t work anymore. So on this occasion of World Malaria Day we are letting the general public know that there is a need to stop abusing drugs. There is a need to stop using drugs without doctor’s prescription at self medication kills.
In the same vein, Hon. Chuks Ezenwile, the Secretary General of the association, said that the aim of the program was for stakeholders to rub minds to kick malaria out while noting that prevention is key.
“We know that malaria is very endemic and very dangerous especially to the young ones and the pregnant women so we are trying to sensitize the general public as the rest of the world on the essence of prevention of malaria and the treatment of malaria and total eradication of malaria especially in the sub Saharan part of the world. We are the stakeholders of the industry that’s why we are joining the whole world to celebrate this day and also to proffer solution, bring ideas as to how to completely eradicate malaria.”
“We try to tell the world about this part of the world about malaria especially the rural areas. During our road walk which was earlier in the day we shared malaria drugs to people without the stadium vicinity this is because we didn’t have enough to distribute for free. It is on this note that we are calling on the federal government to partner with us to completely eradicate malaria,” Nwaokeke Victor, the chairman organising committee said.
Thanking the association for organizing the event, Greg Ekene, the general manager of Agary pharmaceuticals said:
“We are partnering with Lagos drugs dealers association… Malaria kills, so we are selling our drugs affordable on this day so that everyone who comes here can go home with a pack or two.”