By Ngozi Nwoke

In commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day (WMD), the Lagos State Medicine Dealers Association (LSMDA) has said that all hands must be on deck to completely eradicate the disease. The group made this known at the sports indoors of the National Stadium in Lagos to mark World Malaria Day.

The president of the association, Alphonsus Okoroji, who spoke on the theme for this year’s celebration, ‘Accelerating The Fight Against Malaria For A More Equitable World,’ stressed on the need to join hands in order to eradicate malaria completely. This, he said, can only be achieved by massive sensitization and collaborations with health agencies.

Okoroji stated: “It is my pleasure to witness the commemoration of the WMD 2024, which is celebrated under the theme ‘Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world.’ It is worthy to acknowledge that world malaria day is an annual observance held on April 25 of every year to raise awareness of the global effort to control and ultimately eradicate malaria.

“However, we are celebrating it today because of time and date constraints due to the crucial activities of the association. It is imperative that we join the global community to commemorate world malaria day drug this season of the year. WMD was first held in 2008, developed from African Malaria Day, an event that had been observed since 2001 by the African government.

“The observance of WMD serves as a time to assess progress toward the goal aimed at controlling and reducing its mortality in African countries. For one decade, Lagos State Medicine Dealers Association as a people, join the World Community to observe WMD as voted in 2007, the 60th session of the World Health Assembly sponsored by World Health Organization (WHO) that the African Malaria Day be changed to WMD because Malaria affects over 100 countries of the world according to WHO, Nigeria inclusive.

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In the same vein, the secretary of LSMDA, Mr. Hope Ezenwoke, said that the aim of the programme was for the members and executives of the association to establish a synergy to kick malaria out while noting that the use of malaria Rapid Diagnostic test should be a routine for prevention of the disease.

“The use of malaria rapid diagnostic test (mRDT) should be our culture to achieve test before treatment concept. We should always send our timely, monthly report to the Ministry of Health for policy and decision making through the collaborating NGOs such as (SFH, CHAI, integrate etc) that partnered with Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) to train us in this regard.

“As stakeholders in the drug distribution channel, we are crusaders for malaria prevention, treatment, and awareness. This is one of our vital roles in society. I also appreciate all the participating pharmaceutical companies. You are partners in progress and major stakeholders in the fight.

“Let us all accelerate for a more equitable world. I want to say this without reservation, LSMDA members, you are important to society. Continue the good jobs you are doing. I am proud of you. Seeing you any time you are called for a program shows that you are patriotic to the Association and supportive to the leadership.”

“The Almighty God will bless you and enlarge your coast. He will surely reward you for your sacrifices, commitment, and the roles you are playing in society. Don’t forget, this gathering is another reawakening to duty and responsibilities. Stay cool and enjoy the rest of the event.”

Thanking members of the association for fully participating in the event, the chairman organising committee, Emeka Agwu, said: “We are grateful for a successful commemoration of the 2024 World Malaria Day. We thank all members of the associates for being fully supportive to achieve this successfully. We look forward to a better World Malaria Day in 2025.”