- The House of Representatives directs a survey on counterfeit anti-malaria drugs in Nigeria’s six zones to combat public health threats
- Jointly sponsored motion underscores urgency to address the risks and complications associated with fake malaria drugs, impacting public health in Nigeria
The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Control to conduct a comprehensive survey on counterfeit anti-malaria medicines across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. The committee is expected to provide a detailed report within four weeks, following the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance jointly sponsored by Billy Osawaru (APC, Edo) and Ibe Osanwa (LP, Abia) during the plenary on Thursday.
In presenting the motion, Rep. Osawaru emphasized the severe complications and increased risk of death associated with the use of fake drugs. Counterfeiting of drugs, he stated, has emerged as a significant threat to public health in Nigeria, urging a more focused and concerted effort to address this issue.
The motion highlighted a specific incident in June 2018 when NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) was alerted to the circulation of counterfeit anti-malaria drugs fraudulently imported from India. Citing research from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2022, Rep. Osawaru noted that an estimated 116,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa die annually due to counterfeit malaria drugs.
The WHO’s Global Malaria Report for 2023 revealed alarming statistics, stating that approximately 22 individuals die every hour from malaria in Nigeria, amounting to around 200,000 deaths annually.
While acknowledging the efforts made by NAFDAC in combating this criminal activity, Rep. Osawaru emphasized the need for intensified actions to address the pervasive issue of fake malaria drugs in the country. The initiation of the survey by the House of Representatives reflects a commitment to protecting public health and eradicating the menace of counterfeit drugs.