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Journalists briefed on seasonal malaria prevention

Oct 18, 2016, 10:37 AM | Article By: Isatou Senghore-Njie

National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), in collaboration with Speak Up Africa, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), on Friday organised a press briefing on Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC).

SMC is an additional malaria prevention and control strategy that includes the administration of Sulphadoxne Pyrimethamine (SP/ Fansider) and Amodiaqune to children aged 3-59 months during the high malaria transmission season: the four months of the rainy season.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the NMCP conference hall in Kanifing, Balla Kandeh, programme manager of NMCP, said SMC has been introduced about 2 years ago with support from UNICEF and since its introduction, malaria has been on the decline.

Dr Momodou Lamin Waggeh, director health services, malaria remains a serious public health problem with 655,000 deaths worldwide and about 91 per cent of the deaths occurred in sub-Saharah Africa.

He further noted that 86 per cent of the deaths are children under 5.

“Most of the childhood mortality and mobility occur during the rainy season.  Therefore, WHO recommended interventions to combat malaria such as the use of long lasting insecticide nets, indoor residual spraying, and intermittent preventive treatment,” Dr Waggeh said.

He noted that with the changing epidemiology of malaria, it is important to target specific population or locations for maximal effectiveness.

Huja Jah of CRS said SMC is recommended to be a highly effective intervention to prevent malaria in children 2-59 months.