From Uche Uche, Damaturu.
With a determined effort to rid Yobe State of the live devastating effect of malaria, the Yobe State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and a Malaria Consortium are delivering seasonal malaria prophylaxis to nearly 190,000 children aged 03 – 59 months across 60 wards of Yusufari, Tarmuwa, Bade, Machina, Nguru and Karasuwa local government areas that reported highest malaria cases in 2018 to in the State.
This is contained in press statement from the technical section of WHO and made available to our reporter in Damaturu, Yobe State by Dr Chima Onuekwe, which explained that the reason for the high record is related to the fact that Yobe is one of three states mostly affected by the current humanitarian emergencies in north-east Nigeria as a result of the activities of Boko Haram insurgency.
“More than two-thirds of health facilities in the state are partially or not functioning leading to weakened healthcare service delivery, according to WHO health resources availability mapping system (HeRAMS) and malaria burden in 2018 was 70% among vulnerable populations that include children under five and pregnant women,” the statement stated.
It pointed out that, overall, malaria accounts for more than half of all deaths recorded in North East Nigeria compared to other causes including cholera, measles and hepatitis E, thus the seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign being currently implemented at this auspicious time aims at maintaining an adequate level of antimalarial medicine concentration in targeted children in order to kill any malaria parasites during this period of high malaria transmission.
The Officer-in-Charge of WHO Nigeria, Dr Clement Peter reiterated that WHO’s recommendation for seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign across the Sahel sub-region of Africa has proven to be an effective and evidence based intervention against malaria.