Sultan of Sokoto thanks ACCESS-SMC partners for 'listening to the yearnings of the people'
To mark the beginning of SMC mass drug administration in Nigeria, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tanbuwal, hosted a launch event on 23rd July 2015. Over 200 participants attended this launch, including policy makers, and high level government representatives, led by the Permanent Secretaries of the State Ministry of Health in Sokoto and Zamfara. Traditional and religious leaders were also present, including the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Saad Abubakar the III, who thanked the government and ACCESS-SMC partners for “listening to the yearnings of the people, by focusing on the illness that currently needs the most attention.” Malaria Consortium’s Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Nelson, also attended the launch, accompanied by Dr. Kolawole Maxwell, Malaria Consortium’s Country Director for Nigeria.
In his inaugural speech, Governor Tambuwal praised ACCESS-SMC partners for prioritising the prevention of malaria in Zamfara and Sokoto. He welcomed the beginning of SMC distributions in time for the rainy season, praising this project as one with the potential to protect more children under than five than any other health intervention currently implemented in Nigeria.
Various activities took place throughout the course of the day, including the unveiling of the SMC visual, used to help communicate the purpose of the campaign, and the portrayal of a short sketch to demonstrate SMC delivery and administration. As part of this launch, several eligible children were also given the SMC treatment, administered by volunteers and state officials.
“ACCESS-SMC marks the beginning of sustainable malaria prevention for children under five across the Sahel,” said Charles Nelson. In his address to participants, Mr. Nelson went on to thank all volunteers who will work to deliver SMC treatments to an estimated 792,132 children in selected Local Government Areas of Zamfara and Sokoto states over the coming months. The project will nearly double this target figure in 2016.
See the scope of the ACCESS-SMC project and learn about participating countries here.