The “Make a Difference campaign” re-launched in Abuja by Special Agent, Mr Jonathan Schofield, is expected to encourage citizens to participate in strengthening and protecting malaria programmes within their countries.
The initiative is born out of the need to curb the prevalence of counterfeit malaria medicines that undermine worldwide attempts to control the disease.
The campaign aims to solicit the involvement of local communities in the fight against people who prey upon malaria control programmes in Nigeria and elsewhere.
“The MAD campaign’s main objective is to obtain actionable information concerning the theft, transhipment, resale or falsification of anti-malaria drugs and commodities receiving funding from the USAID President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI),” he said.
Schofield said that the office of the Inspector General started the MAD campaign in December 2015 in Nigeria to remind Nigerians of the dangers of using stolen and falsified anti-malarial medications or goods.
“There is a MAD campaign hotline for citizens to call and report distributors, sellers or manufacturers of stolen and fake drugs to the Office of the Inspector General at the USAID.
“The 24-hour hotline will have English operators and the Office of the Inspector General says that the identity of people who call to report stolen or falsified drugs will be treated as confidential.’’
The Head, Malaria Control in Nigeria, Mr Godwin Ntadom, praised the re-launch of MAD, saying that it will help Nigeria as most of the malaria drugs in Nigeria are not of good quality.