A research centre, African Networks for Drugs and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI), has urged NAFDAC to ensure that fake Rapid Diagnostics Test (RDTs) kits for malaria are not sold in Nigerian markets.
Prof. Wellington Oyibo, a Consultant Medical Parasitologist at the University of Lagos, Akoka, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) assist in the diagnosis of malaria by providing evidence of the presence of malaria parasites in human blood.
He said, “ NAFDAC has to do more of regulation so that the wrong RDTs do not find their ways into the markets.
“Despite that patients and healthcare givers still find it hard to accept these kits; it will not be nice to allow the fake kits get into the markets.
“The agency must find a way to ensure that those who want to do business; do it with the right kind of RDTs. There should be no low performing test kits in our markets.
“For people to believe in this test, we need to do more in terms of ensuring that there is quality assurance, training, funding and strong advocacy,’’ Oyibo said.
The ANDI principal investigator expressed concern about the perception of health workers to the test kits.
He alleged that their perception about the kits had caused most patients not to believe in its efficacy.
He urged medical facilities across the country to ensure that government’s policy of `compulsory testing and diagnoses before treating’ were operational.
Oyibo said that doctors should ensure that patients that had lodged complaints about malaria are tested with the RDTs.
He advised medical personnel to ensure that before the kits get into the markets, they followed due process.
According to him, the way Nigerians think is what has made the social disease to still be with us.
He called for the training of healthcare givers and the strengthening of work ethics.
“When this is done, people will have the right attitude to work and proper communication will be given to patients on the need to do a test before commencing treatment,” he said.
ANDI Centre of Excellence for Malaria Diagnosis provides the platform for Malaria Microscopy quality assurance and Malaria RDT quality assurance through lots of testing with time.
The centre is officially designated as a World Health Organisation (WHO) facility for Malaria Rapid Diagnostic test.
It also carries out research findings in malaria, malaria case management, diagnostics and treatment, and on diagnostic implementation.
It has the capacity to provide valuable research, development and training in the West African Sub-region.
The centre has close working collaboration with the National Malaria Control Programme and other Malaria programme implementers such as the Society for Family Health, DFID/Malaria, Consortium/SunMAP and USAID. (NAN)