By Dirisu Yakubu
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, mandated its Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control to urgently carry out a baseline survey across the six geo-political zones of the country on fake anti-malaria drugs and report back to it within four weeks.
The resolution of the House followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance brought before the lawmakers on the floor of the Green Chamber by Billy Osawaru and Osonwa Ibe, representing Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode and Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituencies of Edo and Abia states, respectively.
The bill was titled: “Motion on the Urgent Need to conduct a national baseline survey on fake anti-malaria medicines in Nigeria.”
Speaking on its significance, Osawaru said, “The use of these fake drugs is crucial and brings complications in treatment and eventually increases the risk of death. Counterfeiting of drugs was almost ignored or at least largely underestimated but it has now clearly emerged as one of the most crucial public health problems in Nigeria. Although important efforts have been made to fight against this criminal traffic by NAFDAC, much more needs to be done.”
He added, “The baseline survey is an important activity that must be urgently done in order to determine the before and after situations of the project ‘fight against low-quality anti-malaria medicines in Nigeria’.
“The survey will provide the ‘fight’ with useful information that will be used to determine the methodology to be adopted to reduce the number of deaths from the use of fake malaria drugs in Nigeria.”