By Akanji Alowoludo, Bauchi
About 2.2m eligible children aged between 3-59 months in Bauchi State are targeted for the 2023 rounds of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) for the prevention of malaria in the children.
The exercise is set for Saturday, 15th to Tuesday 18th of August in all the 20 LGAs of the state, it will be repeated for 4 more rounds while the raining season lasted.
The disclosure was made by Malaria Consortium through Bauchi State Programme Coordinator, Kabiru Mohammed Algamawy during a pre-implementation media briefing of the rollout of the exercise held at the Office of the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of Malaria, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and HIV/AIDS (BACTMA) on Friday.
While concluding his presentation, Kabiru Mohammed pointed out that the burden of Malaria has reduced by 12.5% from 2020 TO 2022, which has also reduced the Out-of-Pocket Expenditure to treat Malaria.
He also said that about 25,000 Adhoc personnel will be engaged in 2023 to support SMC in the state and will
all be paid a monthly steepen/allowances which he said is another way of generating employment in the state.
The SMC PC then said that Bauchi state Government is always happy with the presence of Malaria Consortium in the state and wished Malaria Consortium to stay in the state for subsequent months.
He then commended the State Government for the tremendous support the consortium is getting in carrying out its activities in the state.
He explained that the SMC intervention is an intermittent administration of monthly treatment course of antimalaria to children during high transmission of the scourge as the rainy season sets in.
He stressed that the preventive medication is given at monthly intervals for four months to children aged 3 to 59 months.
The Program Manager further said that the objective of the SMC campaign is to maintain adequate therapeutic antimalarial drugs concentration in the blood of the recipient throughout the raining period of malarial risk.
He added that in order to have a successful campaign, all personnel involved in the implementation of the SMC at the State, LG, and community levels have been retrained for optimal performance during implementation period.
He also thanked the management of BACATMA under the leadership of Dr. Sani Mohammed Dambam for the support and enthusiasm for this year’s SMC implementation.
Kabiru Mohammed expressed confidence that with the SMC coming while the Treated Mosquito Nets are being distributed, the prevalence of malaria in mother and child will reduce drastically to a barest minimum.
In his remarks, the Executive Chairman of BACATMA, Dr. Sani Mohammed Dambam said that this year’s SMC campaign is happening at a time when the State Government is also distributing Insecticide Treated Nets for household use against Malaria.
Sani Mohammed Dambam disclosed that Bauchi State was adjudged the best performing State in SMC implementation in 2022, assuring the Malaria Consortium that the 2023 SMC campaign will supersede that of last year.
He attributed the successes recorded to the commitment and support of Governor Bala Mohammed in his quest to bequeath a healthy and productive citizens that does not have to engage in out of pocket expenses for healthcare services.