The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday expressed dismay that Nigerian doctors were treating malaria without carrying out key tests. “Too many medical professionals are still treating without testing. This is easy to fix but the men and women need to be taught about changing that culture in the Nigerian medical professional,” said the agency’s Country Director, Michael Harvey, in Abuja.
He added: “Secondly, we are not treating malaria properly. I am surprised to find that when you travel around Nigeria, Chloroquine is readily available and too readily prescribed as treatment for malaria. This is a major public policy we have to get on top of. We are still producing Chloroquine in Nigeria, a drug that has no benefit, either for malaria or any other use.”
Harvey was also disturbed about the continuous importation of mosquito nets into the country when there is “an industry in Nigeria that is producing them at a cost people can afford. What is very clear from the report, however, is that there are some immediate to-dos in our action list. First, testing to see if a fever is malaria. And this is something that should be doable, since affordable test kits are readily available either through the public sector or private sector at an affordable cost.” Meanwhile, a new national survey released yesterday indicates decline in malaria rates among children. But this, notwithstanding, experts say the country is still far from its vision of a malaria-free state. Read more