Continuing the fight to save 25 million children across the Sahel

Report
from Malaria Consortium
Published on 01 Aug 2017

Malaria Consortium supports one last season under the ACCESS-SMC project in Nigeria

For the 25 million children who live across the Sahel, where there is a seasonal surge in malaria incidence, the World Health Organization recommends seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) as an effective tool in the fight against malaria. SMC is an antimalarial drug that prevents children under the age of five years old from getting malaria during the four month rainy season. One treatment per month reduces malaria cases by as much as 75 percent.

Approximately 12 million children were protected through SMC programmes in 2016, with over 6.4 million children covered through the ACCESS-SMC project, funded by UNITAID. After bringing together leading players in malaria prevention to deliver SMC in seven countries[1] in 2015 and 2016, Malaria Consortium will support one last season under the ACCESS-SMC project in Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria to reach approximately 3.9 million children.

Distributions to administer SMC to over 1.7 million children in Nigeria began on the 31st of July in Zamfara and Sokoto states. An official ceremony celebrating the third SMC campaign will be hosted by the Zamfara State Government on the 2nd of August. Those expected to attend are the Zamfara Deputy Governor, the Commissioner for Health, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, religious and community leaders, community health workers and families who directly benefit from the campaign.

“SMC is contributing to the reduction of cases and death caused by malaria in the Sahel region,” says Dr. Kolawole Maxwell, Regional Director, Malaria Consortium, West Africa. “As we embark on the final round of the ACCESS-SMC project, a key consideration is how to sustain the high levels of SMC coverage gained over the past two years. We are counting on the leadership and active interest of governments, especially governments in ACCESS-SMC project states, to continue to fund the intervention such that SMC will be an annual routine in the journey to end malaria for good in Nigeria.”

Despite the high coverage achieved through the ACCESS-SMC project, many children will still miss out on receiving SMC in 2017 due to lack of funding and production capacity for quality assured medicines used in SMC (SP+AQ). Nine million children in Nigeria alone, will remain unprotected this rainy season. With children in sub-Saharan Africa 14 times more likely to die before the age of five than those living elsewhere in the world, it is time to do more. Malaria can be prevented. In the Sahel, SMC can help prevent it.

[ENDS]

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About Malaria Consortium

Malaria Consortium is a leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to the control of malaria and applies its depth of technical expertise and practical experience to develop smarter solutions that improve and save lives. Through innovation, Malaria Consortium increases the impact of malaria and disease control programs so that they benefit all communities, including delivery in the most challenging environments. Malaria Consortium has pioneered best practices and approaches, setting the standards for delivery and access. Malaria Consortium is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with over 95% of its staff based in malaria-endemic countries supporting Ministries of Health and partners in over 20 countries every year. For more information, please visit www.malariaconsortium.org.

[1] Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, The Gambia