Now that the ACCESS-SMC project has accomplished its goal of dramatically increasing the number of children receiving SMC treatments, preparation for the 2017 SMC campaign has begun in countries that have included this important intervention in their malaria control strategy. All districts covered by ACCESS-SMC in Guinea, Mali, Niger and The Gambia in 2015 and 2016, including an additional district in Niger, will transition this year under Global Fund funding.
During the 2016 campaign, an average of 2.6 million children per cycle were administered SP+AQ in all four countries, and with support from Catholic Relief Services (CRS), ACCESS-SMC also trained more than 15,000 community health workers and health agents. This contributed to the success of the 2016 campaign under the National Malaria Control Program’s (NMCP) leadership, with an average of 85 percent coverage for each cycle. Another objective of the project was to secure alternative funding for SMC drugs and operational costs once the project had ended. ACCESS-SMC supported NMCPs in each country to identify potential donors and advocated to continue providing children with protection against malaria with this life saving intervention.
By early 2016, the number of SMC drugs quantification and the operational budget were included in the funding application to Global Fund. The transition to this donor is currently effective and each country has established targets for 2017.
In addition to the 11 districts covered by ACCESS-SMC in Niger, the Ouallam district has also been added. Under ACCESS-SMC, the target was to administer 1,119,970 children SMC, and now with the addition of another district this has increased the target by 203,930. Under the Global Fund program in Niger, SMC activities will be complementing existing prevention and treatment interventions. In addition to administering SMC in 12 districts, the plan is also to distribute 3,662,228 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), for managing cases of uncomplicated malaria, in three regions.
Below is the target number of children to receive SMC treatments under the Global Fund program, with support from CRS, for 2017.
Capacity building and lessons learned from the ACCESS-SMC project will put this year’s implementation of SMC in all four countries at an advantage. Achieving catalytic expansion of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in the Sahel became a reality in Guinea, Mali, Niger and The Gambia, as SMC is now one of the key malaria control interventions in the national malaria control strategic plans.