The Kwara Government says it is targeting about 600,000 children for seasonal malaria chemo-prevention drugs in 11 local government areas of the state that are prone to the disease.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq stated this during the flag off of the Seasonal Malaria Chemo-prevention (SMC) Programme at the Primary Healthcare Centre, Adewole on Friday in Ilorin.
It involves administering monthly doses of antimalarial drugs on children, aged three to 59 months, during peak malaria transmission season.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented by Dr Raji Razaq, the state Commissioner for Health, said the malaria chemo-prevention was meant for children who are three months old to five years.
He explained that the drugs include Sulfadoxine, Pyrimethamine and Amodiaquine, which would be administered to the children on three consecutive doses.
According to him, the government invested about N130 million for the malaria chemo-prevention, in conjunction with the National Malaria Elimination Programme.
The governor noted that government was alarmed at the steady rise in malaria cases among children which, he said, portend danger and loss of lives.
“This necessitated the need for preventive measures against spread of the disease in the 11 malaria endemic local governments,” he said.
He explained further that the government would come up with strategy for the remaining five LGAs on how to ensure preventive measures against the disease.
Alhaji Abdullahi Nageri, the Head of State Malaria Elimination Programme, had earlier said this was a giant stride by the state government to further promote good health among citizens.
Nageri disclosed that Kwara was among the 20 states in the federation with this initiative, adding that the programme is to ensure reduction in mortality among children due to malaria.
He appealed to all mothers and care givers to avail themselves of the opportunity, by presenting their children for the malaria chemo-prevention.
Mallam Zakarriya Aromaradu, the Mogaji (traditional chief) of Adewole area, commended the state government for the initiative, and enjoined mothers to ensure their children received the malaria chemo-prevention. (NAN)