The Kwara government has commenced the administration of house-to-house Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) to children between the age of three months and 59 months.
SMC is the intermittent administration of full treatment of an anti-malarial medicine during the malaria season to prevent the illness.
Inaugurating the SMC, Olufolake Abdulrazaq, the wife of the Kwara governor, explained that the campaign is a significant step towards reducing malaria amongst the children in the state.
She stated that the support of the government and the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), and SMC have the potential to save lives and improve children’s health in the state.
Abubakar Ayinla, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, explained that the government was committed to reducing the burden of malaria in the state.
According to him, the malaria drugs are free, and they do not cure malaria but prevent the disease.
“It doesn’t work alone; we have to ensure that our children also sleep inside the net. Our environment should be clean without mosquito breeding sites,” he said.
Mr Ayinla said the mass distribution of malaria preventive drugs in the state had significantly reduced malaria cases in children between three to 59 months to the barest minimum.
“This initiative is consistent with the global malaria strategy, which aims to reduce global malaria incidence and mortality rates by 90 per cent by 2030,” he said.
Mr Ayinla urged parents and caregivers to bring their children to the nearest health facility to receive the SMC drugs.
Nimata Raji, the programme manager in the state, explained that only 11 local governments would benefit in the first phase of the programme, while the remaining five local government programmes are in the pipeline.