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ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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Where MOBILE PHONES could be used as tools to fight malaria

 

 

 
 

 

Cell phones have come a long way in the last decade. Today, one can talk, text message, shoot photos and video, send and receive e-mail, and even access the Web.

Now imagine using cell phone to make available qualty anti-malaria drug in villages and romote parts of Nigeria where people lack access to standard medicine stores.

This is the thrust of an initiative that Future Health Systems (FHS), Nigeria under the coordination of Professor Oladimeji Oladepo, is embarking on after a study by this consortium meant to find ways to translate political and financial commitments of government to meet the health needs of the poor, realized there was dearth of information on the new anti malarial policy.

Moreover the appropriate malaria drugs for effective malaria treatment was notreadlt available in every nook and cranny of the country.

Says Prof Oladepo : “We realized that the diffusion of cell phones in Nigeria is very high and that its use is not limited to urban communities, but also penetrates rural areas.  Also, Short Message Service (SMS) is also widely used. This is a type of technology which can be put to use to improve access of patient medicine vendors (PMVs) to appropriate and quality malaria medicine, especially since the generality of the public consisting of about 70 per cent use their services.”

The 2007 study reveal that patients were not getting appropriate and efficacious anti-malarial drugs from venders.

Overall, 43 per cent of them were aware of the new government policy stipulating that a change of drug for malaria treatment from chloroquine to anteminisine combination therapy (ACT). Awareness level varies all over the country‑ 51.3 per cent in Ibadan, a city in the Southwestern; 9.7 per cent in Kaduna, North Central; and 6.3 per cent in Enugu, South East Nigeria. The inventory of anti-malarial drugs on sale indicated that 2.1 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 27.8 per cent sell ACT, the government stipulated medicine in Ibadan, Kaduna and Enugu, respectively.

Says Professor Oladepo, “We can explore this technology to bridge information gap on anti-malarial drugs policy, government drug regulations and guidelines and ensure there is a feedback from PMVs to government officials on adverse reactions on drugs, including those from malarial drugs they sell. They have their own concerns too and would want to seek clarification on new malarial drugs just coming to the market, ascertain whether they are genuine or validate their NAFDAC number.”

But what format is this to take for effectiveness? According to Professor Oladepo, “from a dedicated set of toll- free cell phone lines, which a communication outfit is considering to provide,  health workers manning the desk can send SMS on issues relating to drugs to them and PMVs can similarly through these lines communicate their concerns, ask questions on drug related issues.

Says Prof Oladepo: “We can explore this technology to bridge the information gap o n   a n t i - m a l a r i a l   d r u g s   p o l i c y, government   drug   regulations   and guidelines and ensure there is a feedback from the vendors to government officials on adverse reactions on drugs, including those from the malarial drugs they sell.They have their own concerns too and would want to seek clarification on new malarial  drugs  just  coming  into  the market  to  ascertain  whether  they  are genuine   or   validate   their   National Agency for Food and Dru g Administration and Control Number .

But how would it work? Prof Oladepo explains: “From a dedicated set of toll- f r e e   c e l l   p h o n e   l i n e s ,   w h i c h   communication   outfit   is   considering providing, health workers manning the desk can send SMS on issues relating to drugs to them and the vendors can then communicate  their  concerns  and  ask questions on drug-related issues.

The   initiative   could   impact   on   the treatment of other diseases too. “This would   advance   primary   health   care services, especially in the management of  malaria,  and  ensure  reduction  of counterfeit  or  low  standard  drugs  in circulation, thus impacting on treatment of several diseases in the community.”

Cell phones are already in use in the management   of   diseases   such   as diabetes,   asthma   and   hypertension. Diabetics take photos of their meals and send them to their doctors and dieticians, who assess whether they are eating the right amount and quality of food.

 

 

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