Saturday , September 18 2021

Nigeria: Borno reaches over 850,000 children with seasonal malaria chemotherapy

With more than 2,700 volunteers spreading over seven communal areas in the Borno state, the fourth cycle of the Seasonal Malaria Chemical Prevention campaign (SMC) is underway. The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the State Health Ministry to reach more than 850,000 children with anti-malaria medicine in the campaign's final cycle for 2018.

The campaign aims to reduce the burden of malaria, especially among children 3-59 months, who have been predisposed to mosquito bites in the crisis-borne Borno state.

WHO Health Emergency Program Manager Dr Collins Owili explained that the SMC campaign was introduced in the Borno state with the aim of reducing children's morbidity and mortality in children under five years in the Borno state due to malaria.

"In response to the high burden of malaria in northeastern Nigeria, the WHO launched an annual malaria modeling exercise in 2017, which quickly reduced malaria's toll by saving 10,000 lives among children under five years in the Borno state," said Dr Owili. According to him, "This exercise has proven to be effective and that is why we continued with another four cycles this year. It is hoped that lessons from the Northeast Nigeria campaign can be applied in other emergency situations around the world."

SMC is a WHO-recommended intervention for children under five years living in the Sahel subregion of Africa. The use of this prevention strategy, especially during the peak transfer period (the rainy season) has been shown to reduce ill malaria cases by approximately 75%.

Attesting effectiveness in intervention, the Malawi Program Manager, Mala Waziri, noted that the burden of malaria in the state has apparently decreased since training was modeled in 2017. "Although we are not yet to conduct an impact assessment of seasonal malaria chemotherapy exercise in the Borno state, it is obvious that The intervention has helped reduce the incidence of malaria in the household, as minor cases are reported in the clinics this year compared to earlier. "

The 4th cycle is the last of the planned malaria campaign for the Borno state this year. The WHO and other partners will continue to emphasize the need to ensure that the population protected by SMC is prevented from malaria after the campaigns through the use of LLIN. In addition, the WHO will continue to support and facilitate partnerships as well as mobilization to support malaria control in the Borno state.

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