Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tackling Malaria Menace With Camosunate

Tackling Malaria Menace With Camosunate 
By Pharm. Emeka Nwachukwu

As World Malaria Day is marked, the disease remains a major threat to health in countries prone to it. Malaria also appears to be the most dreaded disease in third world countries, yet though not many know it, the disease, as simple as it sounds, and as common as its symptoms are, is a giant killer, especially among third world rural dwellers. Expectant mothers and infants are the two most Malaria preys. Infant mortality rate traceable to Malaria was probably music to the ears of residents of Ogudu area of Lagos months ago until a young nursing mother painfully lost her four weeks old baby girl to the disease.

For the grief-stricken young lady, the sting of Malaria was just two painful to bear. She could not just fathom why “ordinary” Malaria which she and members of her family had always treated with Agbo, a local herb concoction and in some cases, Alabukun and a local Gin, should claim the life of her precious little first child.

The unfortunate incident narrated above brings to the fore the misconception spiced with ignorance a broad spectrum of people; especially in developing countries have about Malaria. They are not simply aware that Malaria is deadlier and kills faster that HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis; renal failure among other popular life threatening diseases, yet the disease (Malaria) is easier and cheaper to treat.

Malaria facts are alarming. That it is no respecter of gender and age is one. Another is that it is responsible for high infant mortality in Africa. According to the  World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, there are about 219 million cases of Malaria in 2010 and estimated 660,000 deaths. WHO says that “most Malaria deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from Malaria”.

Country-level burden estimates available for 2010 indicate that an estimated 80 percent of Malaria deaths occur in just 14 countries and about 80 percent of cases occur in 17 countries. It has been established that together, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria account for over 40 percent of the estimated total of Malaria cases globally.

According to D. D. Uyagu and A. E. Omoigberale of the Department of Family Medicine, and Department of Child Health, respectively of University of Benin Teaching Hospital UBTH, in Nigeria nearly 10 million clinical cases of Malaria are diagnosed per year. This translates to about 50 percent of the adult population experiencing at least one Malaria episode per year, while young children can have up to two to four attacks of Malaria annually.

The dons conclude that Malaria is a major health problem in Nigeria. In a clime where healthcare is far spread and sometimes non-existence, remedy is most times a distant dream. Self medication, occasioned by poverty among low income earners is equally an ally of Malaria-related deaths. For millions of Malaria sufferers in Nigeria, a trip to a local “chemist shop” for a “mixture” of mélange of tablets is all that is required for treatment. This explains why Malaria kills more than dreaded diseases. According to Uyagu and Omoigberale, Malaria accounts for 25 percent of under-five mortality, 30 percent of childhood mortality and 11 percent of maternal mortality. In Nigeria, 70 percent of pregnant women suffer from Malaria each year, and it causes anemia in pregnancy, abortion, still birth and low birth weight infants.

Essentially 50 – 60 percent of out-patient consultations and 10 – 30 percent of overall hospital admissions in Nigeria are due to Malaria. In addition to the direct health impact on the populace, economic loss linked to Malaria in Nigeria is huge.

Lack of access to healthcare, and ignorance, apart from forcing many Malaria sufferers in Nigeria to resort to self-help, has also led many to erroneously attribute deaths arising from untreated Malaria to all sorts of superstition. Indeed, a large segment of the population is still not aware that a specie of mosquito called Anopheles transmits the disease through bite. Malaria caused by Plasmodium parasites and the parasites are spread to victims through the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.

Time was when Chloroquine was the combat drug for Malaria. But the growing resistance of Malaria to the drug led experts to come up with the ACT combination therapy. With the staggering estimate of Nigerians who fall prey to Malaria yearly, Nigeria is no doubt a huge market for ACT brands of Malaria drugs. The country’s Pharmaceutical stores and even local “chemist shops” are bourgeoning with a plethora of such drugs. Experts are of the view that Camosunate is not only one of the ACT drugs in the market but also one of the most efficacious.

Camosunate is a combination of Artesunate and Amodiaquine. Essentially ,Camosunate is of the four forms of ACT recommended by WHO. This by the virtue of its Artesunate and Amodiaquine(AS + AQ) content. In a recent study on Malaria treatment using the ACT, Uyagu and Omoigberale picked Camosunate as an instrument of study. Their words: “One of the Artesunate plus Amodiaquine brands in the country is Camosunate by Geneith Pharmaceutical Limited. This study is a clinical study of the efficacy and safety of Camosunate in the treatment of uncomplicated Malaria”.

WHO advises that Artesunate is the drug of choice for severe Malaria both in children and adults. The world health body recommends that in areas of high transmission such as Nigeria, Artesunate must be combined with Amodiaquine and administered on sufferers. The combination of Artesunate and Amodiaquine is known with various names, including Camosunate. Marketed in Nigeria by Geneith Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited, Camosunate combats Malaria scourge headlong. The efficacy of Camosunate in treatment of Malaria earned the drug effusive praises from the Institute of Government Research and Leadership Technology (IGRLT) in 2012 when the Institute named it “The Best Malaria Management Drug”.

The brand which is one of the flagship brands of Geneith Pharmaceutical was recognized by the IGRL as the best drug in its category because of many positive indications such as product quality, value creation and efficacy, international standard compliance with regulatory law, patient compliance, track records and ethical standard associated with it.

As the World Malaria Day is marked, Geneith Pharmaceutical believes that the world is capable of defeating the Malaria menace if the right medication and drugs are applied. Camosunate comes in adult and children formulae. Children Camosunate has the unique qualities of being the first innovative pediatrics formulation introduced for the first time in Nigeria, in granular sachets. The concepts behind this technology are to produce children’s anti-malaria drugs in sachets such that parents who treat Malaria do not need to measure doses of drugs with spoons. Stability is thus ensured.

Geneith boss, Emmanuel Umenwa is optimistic that with Camosunate which is endorsed by NAFDAC, sufferers of Malaria in Nigeria now have a credible but efficacious alternative in the battle against the disease.

Pharm Nwachukwu is AGM (sales) Geneith  pharm ltd.

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Geneith’s Camosunate and World Malaria Day

Geneith’s Camosunate and World Malaria Day

Among pharmaceutical companies with research and development initiatives in Nigeria today is Geneith Pharmaceuticals. Incorporated in the year 2000 as a private limited liability company, the main business of the company is distribution of drugs and pharmaceuticals with standards above the bar, in the quest for value additions to the health and quality of life of Nigerians. The Company’s products, including Camosunate ACT Anti-Malarial, its flagship brand, are all NAFDAC registered and currently sourced from various overseas pharmaceutical Companies with GMP certification. Geneith’s impacts and contributions has been asserted and confirmed with several awards such as Best Malaria Management Drug Award conferred on Camosunate by African Products Award 2002, and West African Best Malaria Award, also conferred on Camosunate by the West African Direct marketing Award in 2007.

In this brief Chat, The MD/CEO of the Geneith Pharmaceuticals Mr. Emmanuel Umenwa sheds more light on Geneith, Camosunate and World Malaria Day.

Tell us about Camosunate anti-malarial drug from Geneith?
 Camosunate is just one of several other quality brands in our product portfolio. It comes in 4 age ranges, “Camosunate Adult” (above 14yrs), “Camosunate Junior” (7-13 yrs), our flagship “Camosunate 1-6 yrs” and “Camosunate“less than 1 year”. This makes the product available across the whole family age ranges conforming  with the WHO guideline for each of the components. 

   What special qualities distinguish Camosunate from the myriad of other anti-malarial drugs in Nigerian market today?
Camosunate is an ACT containing Artesunate and Amodiaquine. This is a front line recommendation by WHO. Camosunate adult and Junior comes in tablets. The Tablets are coated to mask the bitter taste of the Amodiaquine. This enhances overall compliance. The dose ranges for children and neonates are formulated in easily dissolvable granules. This confers to it a unique dissolution and absorption profile. The Paediatric preparations are also vanilla flavoured, this suppresses the bitter after taste associated with quinine based products. The children products are packaged in unit dose sachets. This eliminates storage and stability challenges. Degradation by hydrolysis is eliminated as there is no need to store water reconstituted products. Above all the product is affordable.
 The World Malaria Day is around the corner, in what ways is Camosunate creating awareness on how we can fight malaria?
We are reaching out to the public via our customer data base and various social media. We are running a malarial awareness programmed on all our social media platforms (Website, Facebook and Twitter).  As a company committed to the well being of the populace  Geneith is providing information on malaria prevention using these media.  For the week leading to this day, hospitals and pharmacies get special discount on all our anti-malarial products.


Does Camosunate have any side effects?   
Well like every drug, Camosunate has side effects, even though they are highly minimized and controlled and they are mostly transient and manageable. The most common side effect is the lethargic effect due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This is usually taken care of by taking Camosunate with a sugar rich medium, like glucose drink or starchy meals. Camosunate does not itch. This lethargic side effect is predominantly observed in adults. The adult doses are taken twice daily to further reduce the side effects.
     Who should not take Camosunate?
Camosunate as I mentioned earlier is for the whole family and the safety margin is quite commendable. In a recent study carried out in Benin, Dr. U U Uyagu and Proffessor Omagborale both of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital confirmed the efficacy and safety of Camosunate. However we still advice that patients consult their doctors in special circumstances such as pregnancy. 

The national policy on malaria treatment stipulates Artesimisin combination therapy. Is Camosunate compliant with this stipulation?
Yes, Camosunate is an Artemisin Combining Therapy (ACT) antimalarial drug containing Artesunate and Amodiaquine. This is a front line recommendation by World Health Organization, (WHO).

There are reports of malaria parasite resistance to ACT drugs, with some people returning to chloroquine. How does this relate to Camosunate?
Camosunate has a unique advantage of having a relatively long half life of above 30 days. This longer lasting effect provides for longer protection of Camosunate and as such leaves little room for relapse which usually leads to resistance.
Tell us about Geneith’s CSR initiatives with Camosunate?
Corporate Social responsibly (CSR) is one policy very dear to our heart at GENEITH PHARMACEUTICALS. We have periodically identified with the hopes and aspirations of several medical associations with generous donations of our Camosunate anti-malarial products. We have sponsored educational activities and created awareness in our immediate environment. We provide support for annual Inter-house sports activities in secondary and primary schools in our immediate environment. Researches for public benefits have been sponsored by our company.
 What other OTC or ethical drugs are marketed by GENEITH?
In our product portfolio are several high quality products spanning various genres of drugs including but not limited to antibiotics (Nosclav ranges), (Amodiaquine/clavulanic acid) including the Children friendly Nosclav DT, Pulmocef (Ceftriaxone), Antimalarial (Camosunate, Coatal, Gilanox), Analgesics (Tramed caps and injection), Tribact cream, Irondex among other products.
 Ebola Virus is ravaging the West African countries for the past one month, is GENEITH concerned?
As a responsible cooperate organization, we are concerned about this current challenges of ebola virus. Even though we have no antiviral products per say but by interactions with our customers, we preach proper hygiene which limits person to person transmission.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Day in France

A Day in France Enacting French Style Wine Presentation and Tasting On Nigerian Soil

It was a gathering of class and dignity with the top of the cream of Abuja society in attendance. Venue was at the Cross Rivers/Imo /Rivers Hall at the second floor of the Prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Saturday the 12th of April 2014. Guests which included A-List members among the titans of the world of business and politics were treated to the finest of refined French Wine Culture at a special presentation by Wine and Things Vineyard Collections. It was an occasion in which the company (Wines and Things Limited) had in a most class distinguishing manner, an expose of their most exclusive wine collections, showcased to prospective and established clients, wine collectors and connoisseurs.

Highlight of the unforgettable event was classy complementary foods put together by Hilton’s top French chef that was specially chosen to create traditional French food pairing for the wines on show, in water-tight French Culinary standards. There were also natural French goblets for the wines as well as real French wine tasting ambience specially created at the venue.

There was also classy music, cool camaraderie and a perfectly relaxed atmosphere at the venue while guests tasted the wines and gourmet foods, mixing it with business networking discussions as always, in a stress free manner. It was an evening of fun, food, wine and pleasurable connections all the way.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of Wines and Things Limited, Mr Nzekwe Iheanyi Ken explained that the company will host wine tasting events at regular periods to better educate the Nigerian public about wines to enhance their appreciation of wines. Their focus is to create delightful wine experience via knowledge and information sharing about wines. Wines and Things Limited aims to use periodic events and targeted activities to properly inform and educate personnel involved in selling and serving wine in the hospitality industry amongst others.

The events will create a class distinction for the collection of wines distributed by Wines and Things Limited by associating it with pure French wine culture on Nigerian soil. The CEO explained that the wines distributed by Wines and Things Limited, were of a most exclusive collection, hard to come by, even in France itself! However, the company also purveys wines from other great wine regions of the world especially Spain, Italy as well as USA. In starting the tasting experience with French wines, the company aims to establish the fact that France is the source of most wine making vines, grown all over the world and therefore the primary home of the world’s best wines.

The premium selection of wines tasted at the event were chosen by very experienced wine merchant , Michael Berkowitch and supported by Romain Montognac , a major wine producer, both of whom flew in from France for the occasion.

Among the 12 exclusive wines tasted and showcased at the event were: Chateau Grand Pey Lescours, (Saint Emilion Grand Cru) a soft, generous wine with great finesse. TASTING: Grand-Pey-Lescours presents very perfumed notes of black fruits and undergrowth. Very fine and supple on the palate. FOOD & WINE PAIRING : Risotto with truffles & mushrooms, Coq-au-vin, grilled rib steak, duck magret, Cheeses : Brie de Meaux, Camembert Dessert : chocolate pie, peach melba.

Cabernet Sauvignon Vin De Languedoc, TASTING, This wine has a very deep and dark colour. It is full-bodied, ample, solid and quite massive. Tannins are abundant without being too hard. It reveals a character of intense red fruits, delicate spices and a great sweetness. This wine can be enjoyed for immediate drinking; it will soften if cellared during one year. FOOD & WINE PAIRING: Main course : Quail with grapes or figs, roast lamb, rib roast, osso bucco. Cheeses : Maroilles, Livarot, corsica cheeses,Dessert : Black cherry clafoutis, chocolate pie.

The Wine and Things Company is a wine merchant based in Nigeria. The company is focused on sourcing exceptionally fine wines from all over the world, thus putting together a robust collection from the best wine regions around the globe, for the Nigerian Market. Located at plot 2 Oriwu Street Lekki Phase-I Lagos, the company is staffed with a team of highly experienced and consistently attentive professionals who are passionate about giving true value to customers.  

~ By Mr. Ingram Adichie Osigwe  
MD/CEO Fullpage International Communications Limited

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