When the entire world was fearfully caught trembling at the outbreak of current Coronavirus pandemic something worth examining happened through US President Donald Trump mentioning but was discarded by all that is on Chloroquine a medicinal drug known for treatment of malaria.
One may like to take Mr. Trump up on how he came up with his suggestion on usage of Chloroquine for treatment of Coronavirus.
Although malaria can be said is almost wiped out in the United States, therefore alien to people like Mr. Trump.
It is on record that United States has record of about 1,700 malaria cases every year from immigrants and travelers returning from countries where malaria is more common.
The symptom of Malaria is a serious and sometimes life-threatening tropical disease that spreads through parasites just like Coronavirus .
Records have it that it kills more than 445,000 people a year, many of them children in Africa.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is also an infectious disease caused by what the experts termed a new virus.
The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing.
Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it. With the emerging news of upsurge of Coronavirus in highly populated towns and areas like Lagos and FTC Abuja the need for cause examination of Malaria/ Coronavirus relativity becomes a compelling necessity if reality prevention will be found.
Statistic shows that year 2018, Nigeria accounted for 25 percent of malaria cases worldwide, becoming the highest portion of any country with occurrence in more than 100 countries and territories. Clustering of people in a thickly mass populated area like Lagos metropolis must no doubt encourage mosquito investments on the people.
The lately and highly welcome suggestion of Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health on expansion of testing criteria on COVID- 19 to include cases with fever and respiratory tract symptoms but also all persons with fever respiratory tract symptoms must be cutely an attractive approach to the menacing health problem currently confronting humanity. The fact must be faced that Coronavirus is a foreign disease imported to Nigeria with yet unknown cure whilst Malaria is better known to Nigerians with known cure.
One is of the strong opinion that Nigeria having rightly being acclaimed to be Malaria champion of the world should have prompted our researchers, experts and institutions coming up with Malaria drugs capable at least facing Coronavirus.
If it took US President little or no time to reason out the fact that our already known Malaria drug in Nigeria Chloroquine could be good addressing Coronavirus menace nothing should have stopped us as a nation accounting for 25 percent of malaria cases world wide coming up with a useful idea on the matter. Coronavirus epidemic has thrown the world economic and productive manufacturing off balance informing unprecedented restrictive trade policies.
Experience we are told is the best teacher.
Oyo State Governor Engineer Seyi Makinde incidentally was one of those who went into the Coronavirus lion den and came out well hail and hearty with good story to tell. The experience of a good person like Governor Makinde should be promptly tapped for the benefit of the larger society.
Benefitting from the word of our amiable Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele that “ Although these developments are troubling, they present a clear opportunity to re- echo a persistent message the Central Bank of Nigeria has been sending for a long time, and at this time even more urgently so. We must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable health care, and cutting edge education for our people”
Now with threatening global recession and for example food , drugs , medicine imports getting restricted what shall a nation like Nigeria with no plan for self reliance do?
COVID- 19, a sister like to our filed of expertise Malaria is a better offered opportunity for Nigeria to prove our prowess not only meeting health challenges but our capability to providing solutions to other teething global problems. The battle of wit and technical brawn on how to expertly cure COVID-19 with what method we have been using for years to cure Malaria, acute Malaria and Fever etc. should now be explored to tell the whole world whom great people Nigerians are.
Dr. Olapade Agoro (Aladura Patriarch)
(Owa’Tapa of Itapa Ijesa
Former Presidential Candidate National Action Council (NAC)