Members of the National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED) in Kwara State rcently embarked on free rapid diagnostic test and treatment of malaria for residents of Ilorin.
Speaking with journalists at the event which also marks the 54th anniversary of the association, the president of the association, Alhaji Wahab Ajibola, said over 150 people, who tested positive to malaria parasite, received free drugs.
Ajibola said malaria test of N200 and malaria drug of about N500 were given free to everyone who had malaria.
He also said the provision of first aid by his members had helped to save lives in many rural areas of the country, where there are no health facilities or pharmacies.
“This means we bridge the gap left by other health providers. Our members should be commended for saving lives, particularly in rural areas where there are no healthcare facilities. Most rural dwellers who cannot afford medical bills find our members as an alternative”, he said.
The NAPPMED boss, who spoke on the theme of the 2016 anniversary conference: “role of NAPPMED in Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria”, appealed to government to assist members of the association in rural areas with loans in order to boost their trade, saying that they are pioneers in the provision of healthcare services in Nigeria.
“Our members are the first point of call in any community. We carry out first aid treatment. We also treat uncomplicated cases like malaria, diarrhoea, minor home accidents, wounds, offer family planning services and refer complicated cases to health centres.
“Our members have been trained and retrained on procurement, storage and handling of drugs, as well as treatment of uncomplicated cases. Since the association was registered in 1962, our members have contributed to the healthcare delivery system in the country”, he said.
The president of NAPPMED also called on the Federal Government to create a board for the association which will be under the ministry of Health and move it away from the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN).