The Lagos-based medical practitioner said pregnant women and children more vulnerable to the attack
Olowojebutu, the Medical Director of Liberty-Life Hospital, Ogudu, Lagos State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that pregnant women and children should heed this advice.
He said these sets of people were more vulnerable to the attack.
“Pregnant women and children below age five must be encouraged to use the long lasting insecticide nets,” he said.
He also advised that proper diagnosis should be carried out after a patient must have completed full treatment of malaria with Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT).
Olowojebutu said that the best and first treatment for malaria was the ACT which is very affordable and available.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nigeria, up to 50 per cent of the population is attacked by malaria each year.
“Malaria is responsible for 30 per cent of childhood death and 11 per cent of maternal deaths.
“The national malaria positive rate either by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) or by microscopy is still above 32 per cent compared to 38 per cent rate in 2007,’’ he said .
Olowojebutu said that malaria diagnosis had improved in the country following the national malaria policy of 2011 that recommended the use of RDT for malaria test for every febrile case.
“With the exception of North-Central Nigeria, RDT now detects malaria more by between 20 per cent and 67 per cent than microscopy across the other geopolitical zones.
“RDT detects parasite antigens, while microscopy detects the parasite at different stages of its life cycle in the red blood cell,” he said.
Olowojebutu said the best way to improve the diagnosis of submicroscopic malaria was through adequate funding and donations.
He said this would increase the awareness that malaria could be tested at home with RDT by anybody.
“The training of pregnant women on how to use RDT during antenatal care at hospitals and nursing mothers during routine immunisation services should be fostered.’’
He also warned the public against embarking on self medication without diagnosis and the unprofessional use of chloroquine injections.
Olowojebutu called on all the media organisations to partner the health sector to create more awareness and sensitization on malaria intervention.
“There must be more awareness on the application of ACT in different states, especially, among those living in rural areas.
“Public places such as hotels and all health institutions should endeavour to use malaria treated nets in their various establishments."
He said that with all malaria control and prevention projects by all stakeholders and governments, the desired goal of kicking malaria out of the country would be achieved.