Leave Olamide’s Wo, ban self-diagnosing antimalarial drug adverts instead!


So, the Federal Government, through the NBC, BON or whatever agency, banned Olamide’s #Wo song. Okay, no yawa. But I believe there’s something bigger in deleterious mass, more disturbing in its damning effect to the society than awon omo tikabodi, and that is antimalarial drug adverts in Nigeria. They should be banned from our screens.

The way these adverts diagnose malaria on TV is faster than the speed of light; certainly faster than the average malaria test kit. To those who understand the importance of the conscientiously clinical process of diagnosing and dealing with malaria, these adverts are even more disturbing.

I just saw one on TV now. Apparently, the lady was about to beat Beyoncé’s record by singing to this beat in a booth, but suddenly! She feigned a frown and touched her forehead in dramatic discomfort and just like that, producer gives a wry smile while saying something like, “I know what you need,” and then brings out the product with this Aba-coined name (apologies to my Igbo friends, couldn’t epp it). She pops the tablets for usage and fiam! Malaria disappears in a bit and our lady is back in the booth beating Celine Dion to her Grammys.

I remember another one just like this one above. That one was aired during the #BBNaija show. Bride anxiously waited for groom in the church; groom had suddenly developed a headache at home, but best man needed to prove himself and gbam! Just like Voltron, defender of the universe, best man had diagnosed and prescribed this anti-malaria drug to re-groom our man in a jiffy! And just like “ghen ghen hackshun feem”, bride looks back and sees her “knight in shagging armour” bounce down the aisle, and they both gave thanks to this anti-malaria product with another set of Onitsha-coined syllables as name.

It is really not funny, and hey, dearest cynic, they are NOT just “an advert”. With the average Nigerian antimalarial drug advert, every sudden headache must be malaria, and nothing else directly bolsters and subtly promotes LETHAL self-medication as much as this scourge.

And who doesn’t know that self-medication in this part of the world is in a serious bout with “real” diseases to win the belt of what kills most? Oh! You didn’t know?

There is an abundance of research to show that self-medication, in addition to late detection, contributes hugely to the worsening of medical cases in Nigeria, and most times abets fatality. As a case in point, we all know Malaria is a killer, but misdiagnosing and/or self-medicating it is an even worse ailment, trust me.

So, dearest FG and NAFDAC or NBC, shine ya eye, comot this thing from our screens dem, or re-regulate them with the same fervour used to ban “unbannable” songs like Wo, which, by the way, just hit 3 million views on YouTube.

The devu don dey use you already for this matter as e don too tey, airing for ages untamed on our screens; please, FG, borrow brain and set ya people free.

Thank you.

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