Nigeria should launch a campaign to combat counterfeit artemisinin-based combination therapies to prevent malaria parasites from developing resistance to the treatment, Dora Akunyili, director general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, said recently.
Akunyili said that the parasite already has grown resistant to chloroquine and fansidar and that if ACTs became ineffective, it would be difficult to find another malaria treatment.
Publicity and awareness on the issue can help combat counterfeit drugs, Akunyili said, adding that the Catholic Church and other religious organizations should give sermons on the issue regularly. Akunyili also said NAFDAC is prepared to send its representatives to symposia, conferences and other meetings organized by religious organizations to present papers on the consequences of counterfeit drugs.
In addition, Akunyili called on Catholic bishops to compose a daily prayer on counterfeit drugs. She also said the circulation of counterfeit drugs has decreased significantly over the last five years.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation