Kwara gives free malaria care to 600,000 children

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BY KEHINDE AKINPELU, ILORIN

No fewer than 600,000 children aged between 3 months and 5 years in 11 Local government areas of Kwara State are to receive free malaria care, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.

This free malaria care is part of the benefits of the multimillion naira counterpart funds paid by Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to access various basic healthcare programmes for the people of the state.

“In recognition of the various health care interventions in the State under this administration and specifically for sustaining the funding of the state’s Malaria Elimination Programme, the state government this weekend recieved anti-Malaria commodities worth over N344 million,” the statement said.

The statement said the commodities were recieved preparatory to the forthcoming house-to-house distribution of Antimalaria medications under the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention programme to be undertaken in 11 Local Government Areas of the State.

This booster, through the National Malaria Elimination Programme in conjunction with Global Fund, is aimed at positioning the State Based Malaria Elimination Programme to reach all eligible children in the Chemoprevention exercise along with 19 other states of the federation, the statement added.

The statement quoted the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razaq, as stating that ‘this is another manifestation of impactful governance and that our counterpart funds are still yielding sweet fruits’.

The Global Fund and the National Malaria Elimination Programme are moved by the Governor’s tireless investment in health care of the people of Kwara State, the statement said.

He reassured Kwarans that many more strategies shall be rolled out to ensure the state enjoys optimal health care especially in its new status as a Sub-Recipient for malaria grant.

Additional arrangements to involve more stakeholders are already in top gear, which will also ensure that the drugs reach the target groups in the community, the commissioner said.

The commodities recieved were identified as potent malaria preventive drug combination, refered to as, Sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine and Amodiaquine(SPAQ), which are meant for oral administration to prevent Malaria in the targeted 600,000 children who fall between the age of 3 months to 5 years in 11 Local government area of the state.

Explaining the involvent of Kwara State in this antimalaria drugs distribution scheme, the National Technical Director of the National Malaria Elimination Programme, Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu stated that the choice of the selected LGAs for this exercise was based on the rainfall pattern as documented by the Nigeria Meteorological Services.

In addition, he reassured the other 5 LGAs that another antimalaria strategy is being developed to encompass them in another phase.

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