BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (Republic of), November 1, 2021 / Groupe APO / –
Maimuna Abdulraham, a caregiver, and four other women living in the South Yola Local Government Area, Adamawa State, sat patiently under a tree in front of their homes, awaiting their children‘s turn to receive the antimalarial drugs administered by a community health provider.
The drugs are administered as part of the fourth cycle of seasonal malaria chemoprevention, SMC intervention in Adamawa and Yobe states. This is part of the larger efforts to eradicate the scourge in states and the country in general.
“I have allowed all my children under the age of five to receive antimalarial drugs. I was skeptical about the drugs, but with a better understanding of the Community Health Champion living in my neighborhood, I know I will be doing my household a disservice by not allowing the children to receive the drugs.
“In addition to receiving antimalarial drugs, a community health champion also advised that my children and I sleep under insecticidal nets to reduce exposure to mosquitoes,” Ms. Abdulraham added.
A persistent threat Malaria remains a significant burden and a cause of morbidity and mortality among children under five in Nigeria. Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention SMC) refers to the intermittent administration of a full course of an antimalarial drug to children aged 3 to 59 months to prevent malaria disease during the peak of the transmission season.
To reduce the burden of disease, the World Health Organization recommends SMC, the administration of four monthly courses of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and amodiaquine (AQ) (SPAQ), to children aged 3 to 59 months during the rainy season.
In addition to the SMC campaign, WHO-supported community health champions also played a key role in educating the community on the importance of the intervention.
Although the burden of malaria in Nigeria is still high, there has been a gradual decline in the prevalence of malaria in Nigeria from 42% in 2010 to 23% in 2018. This may be closely related to an increase in intervention coverage. , Dr Richard Lako, WHO said the director of emergencies for northeastern Nigeria.
To implement the smc campaign, WHO provided technical support to both states by training 11,000 trained health workers / volunteers including registrars, community drug providers, community mobilizers, community leaders, parties GLA stakeholders, monitors and supervisors who administered CPS medications to more than 1.9 million children aged 3 months to 59 months in 404 wards in 38 LGAs of implementing states. Funding for the implementation of the four successful cycles has been provided by the Global Fund through the National Malaria Elimination Program.
“The implementation of these cycles in Adamawa and Yobe states will undoubtedly play a central role in reducing the burden of malaria not only in the northeast but across the country. WHO will continue to provide technical advice to these States, ”said Dr Lako.
Appreciating WHO and its partners for the response, Professor Abdullahi Isa, Commissioner for Health and Social Services in Adamawa said: “WHO has been providing technical support to the state since the very first launch of the campaign. of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in 2018.
With deep support from the Global Fund through the National Malaria Elimination Program for the purchase and delivery of over six million doses of SMC drugs for the four cycles offered in Adamawa and Yobe states. I know this intervention will help prevent malaria, especially the most vulnerable, ”he said.
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