The Federal Government of Nigeria has banned the use of chloroquine and artemisinin monotherapy for the treatment of malaria.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who made this announcement, stated that about N300bn was being lost annually by the Federal Government in the treatment and prevention of the disease.
According to him, the losses were incurred in government’s efforts to tackle the scourge in the country.
Adewole spoke on Tuesday in Abuja, during the commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day.
Speaking on the theme, “End Malaria for Good: What is your Role?” The minister said, “With a new emphasis on citizen accountability and rights, I want you as a Nigerian citizen to challenge your health care provider and ask questions.
“When you have malaria and somebody wants to prescribe drugs for you, ask the health care provider: ‘Have you confirmed this is malaria?’ It is your right.
“As a citizen when your healthcare provider prescribes chloroquine or artemisinin monotherapy, say no. Doctors and nurses have been told that chloroquine is no longer useful and that it is wrong to prescribe artemisin monotherapy. For the healthcare provider, do not treat malaria without diagnosis.
“Tell yourself, ‘I must not prescribe chloroquine. I must not prescribe monotherapy for artemisinin when what we should prescribe is a combination therapy”, the minister emphasised.