Stop giving antimalarials to children not diagnosed with malaria — Pediatrician

A Maternity Ward used to illustrate the story [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]
A Maternity Ward used to illustrate the story [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]

A Paediatric Neurologist, Okunola Olusola, on Sunday cautioned parents against administering antimalaria medication to children who had not been diagnosed with malaria.

Mr Olusola of Paediatrics Department, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said that it was very wrong to give children antimalaria drugs when they did not have malaria, adding that doing so would not prevent them from the ailment.

“It is drug abuse and there is a greater chance of the parasite developing resistance to the drugs if it is done regularly.

“So, the best thing for a mother to do is when a child has a fever, the mother should take the child to an appropriate health facility where the child would be properly screened for malaria.

“There are Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTS) for malaria that will give the result within 10 minutes.

“RDTs assist in the diagnosis of malaria by providing evidence of the presence of malaria parasites in human blood,’’ he said.

The paediatrician said there was nothing wrong for a mother to move around with antimalaria drugs anywhere she went but in administering it, malaria must be proven to be present in the child.

Mr Olusola urged mothers to understand that not all fevers were caused by malaria, stressing that some could be symptoms of teething, catarrh and so on. (NAN)

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