The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control to conduct a baseline survey on fake anti-malaria medicines in the six geo-political zones of the country and report back within four weeks.
This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance jointly sponsored by Billy Osawaru (APC, Edo) and Ibe Osanwa (LP, Abia) at the plenary on Thursday.
Presenting the motion, Rep Osawaru said the use of fake drugs brought complications in treatment and increased the risk of death.
He noted that counterfeiting of drugs was almost ignored or at least largely underestimated and that it had now clearly emerged as one of the most dangerous threats to public health problems in Nigeria.
He said, “In June, 2018, NAFDAC was informed of the circulation of some fake varieties of anti-malaria drugs imported fraudulently from India.
“According to the research of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2022, it was estimated that 116,000 people died in Sub-Saharan Africa each year because of counterfeit malaria drugs.
“WHO’s Global Malaria Report (2023) states that 22 persons die every hour from malaria in Nigeria; making approximately 200,000 deaths annually.”
He noted that although important efforts had been made to fight against the criminal act by NAFDAC, much more needed to be done.