850,000 Children Get Chemotherapy in Borno For Malaria Prevention

850,000 Children Get Chemotherapy in Borno For Malaria Prevention

The World Health Organization has revealed its plan to reach about 850,000 children with the ongoing malaria chemotherapy in Borno state.

The ongoing exercise makes it the fourth year of the seasonal chemotherapy.

The World Health Organization is collaborating with the Borno State Ministry of Health in the programme that is targeted at children between the ages of 3 to 59 as children within this age bracket are more susceptible to malaria

The campaign is poised to reduce the effects of malaria on children, most especially those living in crisis-ridden areas.

The WHO Health Emergency Programmes Manager, Dr. Collins Owili while speaking to newsmen said the chemoprevention campaign was introduced in order to reduce morbidity and mortality rate of children under 5 years in the state.

He said, “In response to the high effect of malaria in North-east region, WHO initiated a seasonal malaria modeling exercise in 2017 aimed at swiftly reducing the toll of malaria by saving 10 000 lives among children under five years in Borno State.”

Speaking further, Dr. Owili said the exercise has been successful thus far, hence, the continuation of another four cycles this year.

He also hoped the lessons learned during the course of the campaign in the northeast will be applied to other regions across the world.

WHO Focal Person for malaria prevention, Dr. Ini Nglas revealed the 4th cycle is the last of the campaigns planned for this year.

He said, “This is the last of the planned cycles of seasonal malaria chemoprevention for the year. Our volunteers are administering anti-malaria drugs, but we hope to also distribute insecticide-treated nets, another proven strategy for malaria prevention, next year.

“SMC is a WHO-recommended intervention for children under five living in the Sahel sub-region of Africa. The use of this preventive strategy especially during the peak transmission period (rainy season) has been shown to reduce cases of severe malaria by about 75 per cent,” he stated.

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