Health

Treat malaria with combination of drugs, NMEP pleads

Dr Audu Mohammed, the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), has appealed to Nigerians to discourage anti-malarial treatment with a single medicine — monotherapy.

Dr Audu Mohammed, the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), has appealed to Nigerians to discourage anti-malarial treatment with a single medicine — monotherapy.

He told newsmen in Abuja on Thursday night during a media chat on the fight against malaria that the Artemisinin based Combination Treatments (ACT) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria remained efficacious.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to adopt ACT adopted by Nigeria, for the treatment of malaria, describing the therapy as the best.

According to Mohammed, eliminating malaria requires a multi-pronged approach and change in social behaviour.

“We have used strategies to fight malaria and they include sustained public service announcements, focusing on what individuals and groups can do to eliminate malaria.

“The strategies also include sleeping inside long lasting insecticidal treated nets, indoor residual spraying, larval sources management and ACT, among other methods.

“Monitoring and evaluation, strong collaborations and partnerships with relevant bodies and organisations, effective coordination of malaria control and elimination activities, have also been involved in the management of malaria in pregnancy,” he said.

Mohammed urged Nigerians to test all cases of malaria and treat them adequately with the recommended combination therapy.

Similarly, Mr Ali Ibrahim, Director, Pharmacovigilance and Post Marketing Surveillance, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, said malaria remained a huge problem in Nigeria.

He said ACT drugs were the best to combat the disease, calling for adequate funding of the health sector and war against illegal importation of anti-malarial drugs. (NAN)

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