In celebration of World Malaria Day, AfrabChem Limited, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, has given out several La Tesen anti-malarial drugs to residents of Idi-Araba and Mushin communities.
The Walk-Against-Malaria campaign, which was conducted in collaboration with Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS), University of Lagos Chapter on 25th April, started from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and terminated at Ojuwoye Market Square in Mushin, in Lagos State.
As parts of activities scheduled for the day, the students joined the company’s marketing team to educate residents, as well as local traders, on the dangers posed by malaria through exposure to mosquito bites, untidy environment and blocked drainages.
According to Rashidat Elesho, PANS senate leader and chairman of the malaria campaign’s mobilisation committee, if Nigeria is going to make a success in the fight against malaria, the sensitisation programme must start from the grassroots.
Corroborating her statement, Pharm. Obiora Ezekwesili, AfrabChem’s technical and manufacturing director, explained that the company’s celebration of World Malaria Day is in line with the initiative of the federal government, in conjunction with World Health Organization (WHO), which mandates all to sensitise the public about the killer disease.
“By carrying out a sustained enlightenment campaign in the public, we believe strongly that the incidence of malaria will be reduced drastically. That is why we rolled out La Tesen, a brand of Artemether Lumefantrine anti-malarial drug, to be shared to every member of the public within the targeted community – both the vulnerable and the less-privileged in society,” he noted.
On why the company partnered with PANS, Ezekwesili stressed that if a societycan influence the young generation positively, they will grow up with the trend and share it with friends, families and peers.
Pharm. Raji Kabiru, AfrabChem’s marketing manager, explained that the essence of giving out information leaflets and drugs to the public is to show how much the company cherishes the people’s well-being.
“This is not the only campaign AfrabChem has sponsored so far. We have done quite a lot over the years. Just last year alone, free drugs ranging from paracetamol to fever, anti-malarial and paediatric drugs were donated to nursing mothers and the sick in several hospitals in Lagos,” he noted.
He also validated Pharm. Ezekwesili’s reason for partnering with PANS, saying the company has a rich tradition of mentoring young ones.
“As Pharmacy students, they need to start learning the ropes. In the past, we have had industrial pharmacists, hospital pharmacists and even interns coming into AfrabChem for training. So, part of the activity we conducted today was to ensure they participated fully in counselling and prescription of the free drugs we gave out.
“That notwithstanding, I like to say I was really impressed with how they responded, so far. To me, I feel it is a win-win situation for both students and the management,” Kabiru intoned.
In a show of appreciation, PANS (UNILAG Chapter)president, Owolabi Azeez expressed gratitude to the management of the company, saying the experience they garnered was worth it.
He said PANS initially had a problem sourcing for funds to mark the World Malaria Day programme before AfrabChem came to their rescue.