For the 25 million children who live across Africa’s Sahel region, the rainy season produces a seasonal surge in sickness and death from malaria. The World Health Organization recommends seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) as an effective tool to prevent malaria in children under five, but in 2014 only about 800,000 children received this preventive treatment.
Achieving Catalytic Expansion of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in the Sahel (ACCESS-SMC) is the first project of its kind promoting the scale-up of SMC across the Sahel. Thanks to ACCESS-SMC, a UNITAID-funded project led by Malaria Consortium in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, more than 3.2 million vulnerable children across seven countries in the Sahel received this lifesaving treatment in 2015. In 2016, 30 million treatments will be provided to the target countries, reaching more than 6.4 million eligible children.
The first season of mass drug distributions was completed in November 2015. Using the momentum and lessons learnt from the 2015 SMC campaign, the seven ACCESS-SMC supported countries are now planning for the implementation of the 2016 campaign, working to guarantee support from relevant stakeholders and ensure timely distribution of drugs.
ACCESS-SMC's goal is not only to prevent malaria among children under the age of five for the duration of the project, but to mobilize donors and host governments to commit to sustaining and scaling up SMC to ensure that the 25 million eligible children receive this treatment.
Malaria Consortium intends to host an SMC symposium in order to summarize the progress in expanding SMC since 2014, showcase the results of the ACCESS-SMC project and share main lessons learnt from the first at scale SMC implementation in 2015. Furthermore, this event will drive discussion around the SMC trends for 2016 and beyond. It will address specific research questions that are being raised by ACCESS-SMC, most notably those related to the feasibility of the intervention at scale, the impact of an SMC intervention on public health, concerns about drug safety and impact on resistance, and assumptions on cost drivers and sustainability.
The event will also place SMC within a broader discussion about health system strengthening and health investments, using public health arguments to highlight the potential of SMC in reducing the cost to health care delivery and more broadly to society as a whole, as a consequence of the large reduction in malaria-related morbidity.
Finally, the symposium will invite participants to examine further opportunities for SMC in terms of innovative delivery and scope, as well as the possibilities of integration with other public health interventions.
This event will host people from various sectors, most notably NGOs, multilateral donors and agencies, academic institutions, private companies and foundations, as well as the public sector including Ministry of Health representatives from supported countries.
This event will take place from 9th - 10th June 2016. The venue will be in central London.
The event will be live streamed from an online platform with participants having the possibility to submit questions to be asked to the speakers/ panels.
 Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and The Gambia.