ACCESS-SMC brought together a consortium of leading players in malaria prevention to deliver seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) to seven countries across the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and The Gambia. In the Sahel, malaria remains one of the leading cause of severe illness and mortality in young children, with those under the age of five at most risk. For the 25 million children who live in areas subject to a seasonal surge in malaria incidence, SMC is an effective, lifesaving tool in the fight against malaria.
This World Malaria Day, commemorated annually on 25th April, we look back at ACCESS-SMC’s success in administering over 30 million treatments in 2016 to over 6.4 million children. Since the project proved the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of SMC at scale, SMC has become a valued intervention in eligible countries and preparation for this year’s campaign will ensure continued high coverage.
In 2017, ACCESS-SMC will phase out by supporting one last season in Burkina Faso, Chad and Nigeria, aiming to reach approximately 3.9 million children. In addition, thanks to funding from the Global Fund, and mostly through ACCESS-SMC’s partner Catholic Relief Services, an additional 3.6 million children will continue to receive SMC in Niger, Mali, Guinea and The Gambia, though ACCESS-SMC has completely phased out from supporting these countries.
Despite strong political and financial commitment from donors, governments, pharmaceutical companies and development partners, there are still over 12 million children missing out on receiving treatment, with an estimated nine million underserved children in Nigeria alone. Further funding and increases in the global production of SP+AQ are required to cover all 25 million children.