Today Malaria Consortium launches its website for the UNITAID funded project, Achieving catalytic expansion of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in the Sahel (ACCESS-SMC), bringing seasonal malaria chemoprevention to children across the Sahel.
Despite significant progress made, malaria remains one of the leading causes of death and morbidity worldwide. Every year the disease accounts for over 580,000 deaths, the majority of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the continued fight against malaria, there is increased recognition of the need to develop context-specific interventions. For the 25 million children aged 3-59 months who live across the Sahel, the World Health Organization recommends seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) as an effective tool to prevent malaria.
SMC is a relatively new, highly effective intervention to prevent malaria in children under five – those most vulnerable to the disease. SMC involves administering up to four monthly doses of antimalarial drugs to children aged 3 to 59 months during peak malaria transmission season.
The potential for this intervention is enormous – from saving lives and reducing illness to preventing school absenteeism and boosting economic growth. If all children eligible for SMC had access to treatment, an estimated 175,000 lives could be saved each year and 18 million malaria cases prevented.
ACCESS-SMC is a UNITAID-funded project, led by Malaria Consortium in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which is supporting National Malaria Control and Elimination Programs in seven countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria,The Gambia) to lead the first-ever at-scale roll out of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC).
Read more about SMC, the ACCESS-SMC project and partnership here.