WHO, Yobe govt adopt seasonal malaria chemoprevention

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with Yobe Government has adopted a Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) for children between the ages of three and 59 months in the state.

The Emergency Manager of WHO, Dr Collins Owili, said this at the presentation of anti-malarial medicines and training materials to Yobe State Primary Healthcare Management Board in Damaturu on Wednesday.

Owili said: “SMC is indicated for healthy children between the ages of three and 59 months who are the most vulnerable to malaria illness and likely to die from severe infection.

“Their growth and development are mostly affected by repeated attacks of malaria and the development of anaemia.

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“The objective of giving SMC medicines was to maintain an adequate level of anti-malarial medicine concentrations in the blood, in order to kill the malaria parasite during the period of high malaria transmission.”

He said that the intervention should be done in combination with other malaria prevention methods, especially sleeping inside Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) every night.

Owili said SMC would prevent approximately 75 per cent of all malaria episodes, decrease child mortality of around one in 1000, reduce the incidence of severe anaemia and hospital admissions associated with malaria parasitaemia.

It would also provide personal protection against clinical malaria for a period approximately 35 days following the administration of each dose, according to him.

The Executive Secretary, Yobe State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr Muhammed Gana, commended WHO for the donation of medicines and training materials for the SMC implementation in the state.

Represented by Dr Umar Chiroma, a Deputy Director in the board, Gana said the gesture would go a long way in assisting the state in the health scheme.

The executive secretary said the exercise would be officially inaugurated from July 24 to 28.

The Coordinator of WHO in Yobe, Dr Adamu Baffale, stated that the implementation would focus on Tarmuwa and Yusufari Local Government Areas, which were strategically selected.

Baffale, however, assured that other local government areas would equally be covered in due course.

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