Expert says sickness is over diagnosed and treated in Nigeria

According to him, there is need to institute malaria testing in pharmaceutical shops before sales and use of malaria medicines.

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito obtains a blood meal from a human host through its pointed proboscis in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Gathany/CDC/Handout via Reuters

A medical expert, Dr. Ernest Nwankolo, on Saturday said that Malaria was currently over diagnosed and over treated in Nigeria.

Nwankolo, a general practitioner with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended a parasite based diagnosis of malaria before the commencement of treatment.

"Prompt case detection and treatment are vital to effective management of malaria.

“There is no data on malaria rate among suspected malaria client who purchased and used Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) over the counter.


“The need to institute malaria diagnosis in the huge informal private sector in Africa and Asia is currently being explored as an important strategy of expanding access to malaria parasitaemia among client.

“It is also known that malaria is still treated without diagnoses which is a bad practice, the level of Malaria Control Programme (MCP) is very low in the healthcare system,” Nwankolo said.

“A very high proportion of adults who had no need for malaria medicine purchase and use anti-malaria because of symptoms of nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, chills bitter taste in the mouth and dark urine.

“Some of the patients lack knowledge about the symptoms and the basic treatment on the clinical diagnoses of malaria.

“Malaria testing at all healthcare systems is a potential strategy for expanding access to malaria diagnosis.


Nwankolo urged the Malaria Control Programme (MCP) to monitor all primary healthcare systems to ensure that all malaria cases were tested using Rapid Diagnosis Test (RDT) and positive patients should use ACTs.


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