Chinelo Ogbodo, chief community development officer of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), gave the warning at a meeting in Akwanga, Nasarawa state.
Ogbodo said treating every form of fever with antimalarial drugs is an abuse of the drug since such a person does not know the nature of the ailment.
She advised that medical tests should be done to ascertain whether the feverish symptom is malaria before taking antimalarial drugs.
“So you need to run a test; every individual presenting symptoms of malaria or fever must be tested before you give them antimalarial drugs, when they test positive,” she was quoted to have said by NAN.
”Nigerians must understand that malaria is not common, there are various types and levels of the disease, like complicated and uncomplicated malaria, we also have severe malaria.
”When you treat fever with malaria drugs, without going for a test before treatment, you have succeeded in treating blindly without knowing what you are treating or the level of what you are treating.
”When somebody has malaria, and treats without testing, he or she has abused the drugs because you do not know the level of the malaria you are treating. When death occurs as a result of malaria, people term it as witchcraft or spiritual causes.”
On her part, Samuel Owoya, a staff member of NMEP, asked Nigerians to sleep under long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) every night.
Owoya said malaria is a major cause of mortality in the country, adding that the country must adopt the right health-seeking behaviour to eradicate the disease.