Gombe targets 804,000 Children for Malaria prevention

The Programme Manager, Gombe State Malaria Elimination Programme, Ubayo Ali, says no fewer than 804,000 children would benefit from malaria chemoprevention. 

According to findings by our correspondent, the malaria chemoprevention treatment commenced on Thursday for children between three to 59 months.

The treatment entails Adhoc personnel using Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine Amodiaquine.

According to Ali, based on NDHS 2018 report, Gombe has a 33 per cent malaria prevalence rate.

He noted further that malaria chemoprevention treatment and the use of insecticide-treated nets would help reduce the mortality rate induced by malaria in the state.

He said that the state is one of the 21 states in Nigeria currently benefiting from the seasonal malaria chemoprevention. 

Ali said, “This is the season, for the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention activity that just started just in 2021 for us to reduce the menace of malaria most especially during raining season. This is done in about 21 states out of which Gombe is one. 

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“This chemoprevention is targeting children between three to 59 months. This is because the malaria menace has more burden on this age group including pregnant women.

“For this year our target is 804,000 children. They will not have to come to the facility to be attended to, instead, we will be going from house to house. This means we will have about 8,000 Adhoc personnel that we are going to use in reaching these children in their houses across the state.”

The programme manager said the malaria chemoprevention prevention treatment would be carried out four times within the space of four months.

Programme Manager, Gombe State Malaria Elimination Programme, Ubayo Ali

“Between Thursday 28th July to 31st Sunday, July, Anybody that takes SPAQ at least for one month will be protected from malaria. 

“From 28th July to 31st and we will come back on the 28th August to give them another one which will protect them for another 28 days. After that 28 days, we will come back and give another, it will be done four times, within four months,” Ali added.

Ali noted that there are free malaria commodities in 352 health facilities, across the 114 wards in the state, stressing that the aim was to reduce the increasing level malaria induced death.

He said, “We have free commodities in 352 health facilities, across 114 wards in 11 local government areas in the state. 

“Gombe State government is very supportive in the distribution of this SPAQ across the 11 local government areas already government paid N10 million this year as counterpart funding for the four batches.”

Commenting on the lack of awareness of the malaria vaccine for adults, Ali said, “the malaria vaccine has not reached Gombe yet but we have started discussing it. Already it has been piloted in two or three countries in the world and it is safe but it is yet to get to Gombe. It has not been officially launched.”

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