Malaria: Nasarawa Govt administers preventive drugs to 775, 905 children

0

The Nasarawa State Government says it administered malaria preventive drugs to 775, 905 children under five years across the state in 2021.

The Commissioner for Health, Mr Ahmed Yahaya, made the disclosure at a media parley to commence the second round of the Seasonal Malaria Chemo-prevention (SMC) campaign  on Friday in Lafia.

The Commissioner said that 816, 532 children were being targeted for the second round of the exercise in 2022.

According to the Commissioner, government keyed into the SMC intervention as part of efforts to  reduce the burden of malaria from the current 14.6 per cent in the state.

Yahaya explained that the SMC intervention has helped in reducing prevalence of malaria amongst children under five in the Sahel and Savana regions of the country.

“SMC is a preventive intervention focused on children under five to maintain therapeutic anti-malarial drug concentration in the blood throughout the period of greatest malaria risk,” he said.

He attributed the successes recorded in the fight against malaria in the state to support from partners and enhanced environmental and vector control activities as well as  improved utilisation of Insecticide Treated beds Nets (ITNs).

He listed other reasons for the reduction of malaria outbreak to include appropriate social behaviour change communication and  improved case management.

The Commissioner said that government was working assiduously to eliminate malaria completely from the state  to achieve zero prevalence in the next few years.

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Janet Angbazo, said that pregnant women and children under five are more at risk from malaria.

She noted that malaria is capable of causing intrauterine growth retardation of the unborn child, abortion, pre-term labour, renal failure and death.

Angbazo added that malaria was responsible for the death of so many people, which was the why the State Government in collaboration with partners have invested a lot toward its elimination.

The Permanent Secretary, therefore, advised the public to always sleep inside insecticide treated nets as the best option to prevent malaria.

Earlier, Director Public Health in the ministry, Dr. Ibrahim Alhassan, said the media parley was to create awareness on how to reduce the burden of malaria in the state.

Alhassan commended journalists for their support to the campaign towards eliminating malaria in the state and appealed for more collaboration in order to win the fight.