Sokoto and Zamfara launch the second season of SMC
This year, 1,735,602 children under five living in Nigeria will be given lifesaving seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) to protect them from malaria when they are most at risk, during the rainy season.
In August, kick off events for the second SMC campaign were held in Zamfara and Sokoto states. In Sokoto state, the event was hosted by the Sokoto State government and attended by over 300 participants, including the Sokoto State Governor, the Commissioner for Health and other religious and community leaders. Community Health Workers (CHWs), beneficiaries of the campaign and media representatives were also present.
In his opening remarks, Sokoto State Governor, Tambuwal, stated that malaria remains a major problem in Sokoto and that children are among those most vulnerable to the disease. He explained that the state is working with partners on the different approaches to combat malaria, including SMC for children under 5 years old:
“The government has adopted many strategies to try and relieve the menace of malaria and other diseases by providing capacity building for health personnel, providing health care facilities and ensuring the provision of essential drugs,” explained Tambuwal. He also acknowledged the contribution of Malaria Consortium and other partners in their role in addressing the malaria problem.
As part of the ACCESS-SMC project, Malaria Consortium is supporting the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP) in Nigeria to implement SMC in Sokoto and Zamfara. ACCESS-SMC, is a UNITAID-funded project led by Malaria Consortium, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and will help protect over six million children from malaria by providing the lifesaving SMC preventive treatment. This year, Malaria Consortium will be supporting the NMEP to provide SMC to children in all 37 LGA’s in Zamfara and Sokoto.
During the kick-off event, CHWs performed a short drama piece, illustrating the process of mass drug administration, showing the possible supportive and unsupportive behaviour at community level, and highlighting the benefits of SMC. Other features of the launch were the unveiling of the displayed packs of the SMC medicines and the administration of the SMC drugs to some children by Governor Tambuwal.