WHO, Borno Target 2.1 Million Chidren Against Malaria
The Country Representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr.
Walter Kazadi Mulombo has said that the Seasonal Malaria
Chemoprevention (SMC), is a comprehensive intervention strategy to
save lives of children under five.
The global health agency and Borno State Government; have targeted 2.1
million children administer the SMC drug at an interval of one month.
While flagging off fourth and final phase of SMC intervention at
weekend in El-Miskin in IDPs camp, Maiduguri, he disclosed that the
strategy in fight against malaria, is the indoor spraying of
insecticides on pools of water and household walls.
According to him, “The SMC is required to be administered four times
in a year; and this is the last one for 2020.”
He said the indoor spraying kill mosquitoes instantly once; they
settle on household walls; before biting people.
On efficacy of SMC, Dr. Mulombo said: “As we round of fourth last
phase, we have reached about 80% in the previous exercise.
“We also that this would be better in saving children’s lives from malaria.”
He continued; “The SMC involves administration of a special
anti-malaria parasite drug on children under the age of five.
“It’s to prevent them from contracting malaria even if they get bitten
“The administration of this drug on children, is neither a vaccine nor
an immunization. It’s a medication that boosts the antibody of a child
“It is all about increasing protection for children; as they receive
this drug. It goes into the blood, and stays there for some time.
“Even if mosquitoes bite them, the parasite would find the drugs in
the blood and would not affect the health of children.”
The Borno state’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura, also
said SMC therapy is critical to prevent infant mortality from malaria.
On challenges of malaria prevention, he said: “One of our greatest
challenges confronting us today in Borno state is infant mortality
occasioned by the high burden of malaria.
“The Federal and Borno state governments with support of our partners,
WHO, we give drugs to children under the age of five.
According to him, regular drugs administration will build children’s
immunity and to protect them from malaria. He noted that even if they
do it reduces the chances of mortality among children.
He explained that the drugs being administered; is a sachet of five
tablets of which two are dissolved in clean water on the first day. He
said that the rest are taken one of each, in the next three days.
“It is very disheartening that Nigeria ranks high among countries with
high infant mortality in the world,” he lamented, adding that SMC is a
pivotal intervention targeted to reduce prevalence of infant motility
by less than 5%.
“Our target, is an enormous task, but it is achievable,” he said.
He also announced government’s plans to roll out contributory
healthcare insurance scheme.
According to him, the insurance scheme would make access to quality
medical health service in the state.