Reps Set for Baseline Survey on Counterfeit, Fake Anti-Malaria Drugs across Geo-political Zones

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Committee on HIV/Aides , Tuberculosis & Malaria Control and Drugs & Narcotics to carry out baseline survey on fake anti-malaria drugs across the six geo-political zones of country.

The House’s resolution was sequel to a motion by Hon. (Dr.) Billy Osawaru, representing Orhionmwon /Uhunmwode Federal Constituency of  Edo State.

Hon. (Dr.) Billy Osawaru, representing Orhionmwon /Uhunmwode Federal Constituency of  Edo State.

Presenting the motion tilted “MOTION ON THE URGENT NEED TO CONDUCT A NATIONAL BASELINE SURVEY ON FAKE ANTI – MALARIA MEDICINES IN NIGERIA”  on Thursday, Osawaru said that the House Is fully aware that , in Nigeria there is an agency that is charged with the responsibility of regulating the production , importation and distribution of drugs called the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control ( NAFDAC ) .

He said in June 2018 NAFDAC was informed of the circulation of some fake varieties of anti – malaria drugs imported fraudulently from India. 

“Counterfeit /ake anti – malaria drugs are mostly observed to be deliberately made to look like brand name drugs or may have no active ingredients or have less than the required amount of active ingredients or may even contain ingredients which are not what is described on the package label imported/manufactured , distributed / sold and eventually ignorantly used by malaria patients without any curetic effects .

“Further aware that, 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 , but much more needs to be done . 

“Worried that according to the research of the World Health Organization WHO in 2022 , it was estimated that 116,000 people die in Sub – Saharan Africa each year because of Counterfeit Malaria Drugs . World Health Organization ( WHO ) Global Malaria Report ( 2023 ) Stated that , twenty – two ( 22 ) persons die every hour from Malaria in Nigeria making it approximately two hundred thousand ( 200,000 ) deaths annually .

“In other words , over a quarter of all deaths from Malaria are linked to fraudulent medicines thus the need for a National Baseline Survey Project to collect information on the status of fake anti – malaria medicines to determine mode of approach , level of effort needed and probably resources required to dismantle the unfortunate development of this crime against humanity,” he said.

Hon. Osawaru noted that  it is pertinent to mention that baseline survey is an important activity that must be urgently done, in order to determine before and after situations of the project “fight against low quality Anti – Malaria Medicines in Nigeria.” 

According to him, 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 .

Following his motion and prayers, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas Ph.D who presided over the plenary, referred it to the Committee on HIV/Aides, Tuberculosis &  Malaria Control, and Drugs and Narcotics and to report back to the House within four ( 4 ) weeks.

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