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71.49% of Nigerians using antimalarial medicines have no Malaria parasite antigen — Study

By News Express on 05/07/2019

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 Public Health Nigeria Executive Director Otorkpa
Public Health Nigeria Executive Director Otorkpa

A new study published in Texila American University International Journal of Public Health, has revealed that a whopping 71.49% of Nigerians purchasing antimalarial medicines in drug stores for self-medication had no Malaria parasite antigen in their blood stream.

The study which was conducted in Nigeria was supervised by a team led by the Executive Director Public Health Nigeria, Oche Joseph Otorkpa, a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health UK.

The study noted that self medication with antimalarial drugs is one of the commonest forms of self medication in Nigeria.

“Malaria is a risk for 97% of Nigeria’s population. The remaining 3% of the population live in the malaria free highlands. There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria.

“A major concern of the indiscriminate consumption of Malaria medications is counterfeiting. In 2011, 64% of antimalarial medicines circulating in Nigeria were reported to be substandard according a study published in the lancet,” the study noted.

The study recommended that policy makers in the public health sector should take a second look at self-medication in malaria treatment with a view to providing frameworks, guidelines or laws to further stream line the practice and sales of malaria drugs for self-medication.

It further recommended public sensitisation on the financial loss, health hazards and clinical complications associated with self-medication practices as well as increased availability of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits, hinting on the possibility of self-testing with RDT as a pre requisite for purchase of antimalarial medications in the near future.

It could be recalled that on April, 2000 African heads of states met in Abuja, to express commitment to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative having recognised the public health and economic burden the disease has placed on the continent as well as the barrier it constitutes to development and poverty alleviation. (Daily Trust)

 

Source News Express

Posted 05/07/2019 05:19:39 AM

 

 

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