Malaria: WHO targets 2.1 million children in Borno

The World Health Organisation (WHO), says it has targeted 2.1 million children for the 2020 Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) campaign in Borno.

SMC is designed to prevent and protect children against malaria.

Dr Iniabasi Nglass, National Consultant Malaria Emergencies in Nigeria, disclosed this during the inauguration of the SMC programme at the Elmiskin Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.

Ngalss said that the targeted children aged between three and 59 months would benefit from the exercise in 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

She said the SMC exercise was recommended to be conducted thrice withing the peak period of the rainy season, adding that 2.1 million were reached under the programme in 2019.

The WHO official said the programme had recorded 100 per cent coverage in the 25 LGAs, noting that the feat was achieved with the support of the community and religious leaders in the state.

“New regime of anti-malaria will be administered to the children, the drug has an effect on the child’s system for 35-days for protection against malaria,” she said.

According to her,  malaria is a major health problem with children at high risk of infection.

Also speaking, Mr Mala Waziri, the State Coordinator, Malaria Control Programme, said children in IDPs camps were prone to infection of malaria due to ravaging mosquitoes.

Waziri said that about 20,000 children in IDPs camps were expected to be examined and administered with drugs.

“The raining season is always the peak period for mosquitoes breeding due to flooding, blocked drains, uncleaned environment, indiscriminate dumping of waste on streets, gutters and ponds,” he said.

He appealed to parents and guardians to participate in the exercise to protect their wards against malaria.

The Coordinator commended WHO and partners for the implementation of the SMC programme, adding that it would help control malaria in the society.

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