Today, the 25th day of April marks the global campaign for the total eradication of malaria in various endemic regions. Milestones have been achieved since the fight against malaria started decades ago but yet people still die from malaria daily with a higher mortality rate of children less than 5 years old and pregnant women.
This year's theme focuses on a call to all (government, private institutions, civil authorities, non-governmental organisations and individuals to close the gaps in the prevention and treatment of malaria by providing more preventive measures and diagnostic testing for the treatment of malaria
This week the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the updated guidelines for the treatment of malaria with focus on access to recommended treatment. The recommendation is to use artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) although the challenge of access to health care still remains in some malaria zones.
In Nigeria, most individuals are now used to self medication when they have or think they have symptoms of malaria. The danger there is that their immune system becomes resistant to malaria drugs since they mostly take "off the counter" drugs instead of prescribed drugs from a specialist. Therefore when they actually get infected with malaria and they are hospitalised, the prescription drugs do not make them well. There is a call to all to always "think malaria" when there are potential symptoms so that a proper diagnostic test is taken to confirm malaria before treatment.
We have a collective goal to support the "roll back malaria" program. We can defeat malaria if we all work in our communities to ensure preventive measures are applied and treatment is given when required. A lot of progress have been made but there is more to be done, let us all work together to achieve this.
Join the campaign for the total eradication of malaria in Nigeria. Remember the A- awareness B- bite prevention C chemoprophylaxis (for non-immune or Expatriates) and D- diagnosis.