The Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), Dr. Joel J. Jones told the proprietors of medicine stores and pharmacies in a one-day stakeholders’ meeting yesterday in Clara Town that research shows that 46% of the 3.5 million Liberian population seek medical treatment from medicine stores and pharmacies and are not treated appropriately.
Dr. Jones said that the inappropriate treatment stemmed from the failure of proprietors and dispensers of medicines stores and pharmacies to administer ‘malaria test’ before prescribing the correct treatment.
The Malaria Control boss said most fevers are associated with malaria, but not all fevers should be given malaria treatment. He said Chloroquine is contemporarily not the ‘right malaria medicine,’ but rather a combination of Artesunate and Amodiaquine as a fixed dose.
Dr. Jones challenged proprietors of medicines stores and pharmacies to play a pivotal role in the management of disease outcome in the community to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate.
For his part, the Country/Technical Manager of the Mentor Initiative, Ben T. Adika, said the pilot project is aimed at orientating the private sector (proprietors of medicine stores and pharmacies) and fully train dispensers about the diagnosis and treatment of malaria.
Mr. Adika said after the orientation exercise, the training of the dispensers will be held early next month after which each medicine stores and pharmacies will be supplied with malaria medicines and testing kid on the regular basis for three years.
The Mentor Initiative boss noted that his organization will also supply ‘waste boxes’ and they will be responsible to monitor, collect data of the administering of the test and medicine and dispose the waste products.
Mr. Adika revealed that the pilot project which focused on West Point and Bushrod Islands communities (New Kru Town, Logan Town, Vai Town, Clara Town, Sayon, etc) is sponsored by a United Kingdom organization, the Comic Relief Special Initiative.
According to him, the three-year pilot project which began in 2011 with the preparatory stage will continue up to 2014 with training, supply of malaria and monitoring. The cost of the three projects was put to US$3 million.
At the end of the Stakeholders’ meeting, the proprietors of medicine stores and pharmacies signed a pact agreement with Mentor Initiatives to allow their dispensers be trained whereas they supply the combination of Artesunate and Amodiaquine as a fixed dosed and other equipment.