WHO Kick Starts Phase III Seasonal Anti-Malaria Campaign in Borno

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

Borno State Coordinator of WHO Malaria Elimination Programme , Alhaji Mala Waziri said Thursday that the third phase of the Seasonal Malaria Intervention Programme (SMC) has kick started in Borno State from 16th - 30th September 2020 with a target of over 2 million children of 3 months to 59 months.

Waziri who flagged off the third phase of the 2020 World Health Organization (WHO) Seasonal Malaria Chemopreventuon (SMC) Campaign in the state said, "the seasonal malaria Elimination Programme will be conducted in 4 stages through out the year as an intervention exercise to reduce the effect and spread of malaria especially among children of 1months to 3 months."

Waziri who is also the State Deputy Director, Public Health , Borno State Ministry of Health stated this during the flagging off of the third phase of the Seasonal Malaria Elimination Programme held at A.K. Amin IDPs Camp , Behind Dalaram Clinic, old Maiduguri.

According to him, the malaria Intervention will be administered to about 20,000 children at the camp and expected to be conducted simultaneously in all the 27 LGAs of the state targeting over 2 million children as it was in the second phase where over 2 million children from 3 months to 59 months were provided with anti malaria drugs alongside mosquito nets.

He noted that the programme across the state is in 4 different period within a period of one year particularly during the raining season which is always the peak period for mosquitoes breeding as a result of flooding, blocked drainages, uncleaned environment, indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the streets, gutters and ponds among others

Flagging off the exercise, the Coordinator explained also that the Seasonal Malaria chemo prevention drugs is a WHO recommendation in the sub Saharan region to help reduce malaria, as malaria accounts for more than 50 percent of all mortality and morbidity cases in the north east region.

He added that why WHO wants to reach the IDPs camp for the third phase of the campaign because the IDPs Camps are highly vulnerable due to the environment they live in.

Waziri however urged parents to give their children the opportunity to be administered with the anti-malaria drugs while commending WHO and their partners for implementing the healthcare policy and carrying out the campaign across the state, stressing that, the campaign will help in reducing and preventing effects of malaria among the children.

The State Coordinator said one of the reasons WHO is kick starting the third circle at the A.K Amin IDPs for the children was , "because the children are the most vulnerable, assuring that WHO will reach out also to the children of the host communities who are also vulnerable while calling on parents to allow their children benefit from the SMC.

Waziri who led the WHO Malaria Team to the A.K. Amin IDPs Camp said, “The reason we are at the IDPs Camp is to kick start the third phase of the SMC Campaign by administering the anti-malaria drugs in a symbolic manner to children of 3 months to 59 months to prevent malaria infection among the age group as we are in the peak of malaria season, the raining season and flooding period."

“This will reduce significantly morbidity and mortality among children. I call on the public to always keep their sorrounding clean and live in a better healthy environment.

"As mosquito causes malaria and mosquitoes are breed from uncleaned environment, flooding, blocked drainages, refuse dumps and wastes from abattoirs, dirty environment, offices, slums, toilets, soakaways, etc ".

Ashe Bulafati and Falmata Ibrahim. In an interview at AK Amin camp in old Maiduguri on the malaria chemo prevention drugs and they expressed happiness that the drug has drastically reduced the cases of malaria in their children since July.

They also commended the state government and WHO for the initiative as it has reduced their hospital visits by over 50 percent.

While the Village Head, Bulama Musa thanked the heads of households for their commitment and cooperation which makes the implementation easy.