The Nasarawa State Government says no fewer that 978,950 children will benefit from the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention intervention in the state.
Mrs Janet Angbazo, Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry of Health, said this at a media parley on Monday in Lafia, ahead of commencement of distribution of malaria prevention drugs for children between three months to 59 months.
According to her, the news conference was to create awareness for the commencement of the third round of the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in the state.
Angbazo said that the SMC intervention, which began in 2020 in the state is being supported by Malaria Consortium; an international non-profit organisation working towards the elimination of malaria and other infections diseases in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
“This global intervention is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a preventive strategy for the elimination of Malaria, particularly amongst children between the ages of three months to 59 months,” she added.
Angbazo further explained that the burden of malaria had reduced from 30 per cent to 15 per cent in the state since the inception of the intervention in 2021.
She commended Gov. Abdullahi Sule for his continued support to the ministry and for giving priority to provision of a better and accessible healthcare services to the people in the last four years.
Angbazo on behalf of the government and the people of the state lauded Malaria Consortium for its tremendous, life-changing support in the last 3-years.
She further said that the preventive measure was seasonal, saying “this is the peak of malaria transmission, which is in the rainy season,”
Angbazo added that the drugs were technically known to be safe, effective and well tolerated by children in the respective concentrations used in the formulation.
She said that the ministry had deployed 11, 240 ad hoc staff to administer the drugs to eligible children in every household across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.
“The staff had been trained and are categorised to those going from house-to-house to deliver the drugs known as the Community Drug Distributors (CDD), the Town Announcers, the Lead Mothers, the Supervisors, and the Health Facility Workers.
“The drugs will be distributed every month for a period of five months, from the month of June to October,” she said.
The permanent secretary, therefore, called on all stakeholders including parents, caregivers, traditional rulers and religious leaders, to support the programme to succeed. (NAN).