In 2020, Malaria Consortium began a phased implementation study to assess the feasibility, acceptability and protective effect of SMC in Nampula province, in the north of Mozambique. Working in partnership with Mozambique’s National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça, an estimated 72,000 children aged 3-59 months received SMC in two districts, Malema and Mecubúri in the first phase of the project.
What is seasonal malaria chemoprevention?
Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) is a highly effective intervention to prevent malaria in those most vulnerable to the disease’s effects. It involves administering monthly doses of antimalarial drugs to children aged 3-59 months during peak malaria transmission season.
Malaria Consortium is a leading implementer of SMC. Our SMC programme in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mozambique, Nigeria, Togo and Uganda is top rated by GiveWell for its cost-effectiveness.
This story was captured in Mpeneca neighbourhood, Malema district.
“My name is Crimildo. I am 28 years old and the father of two children. The oldest is five years and the youngest is two.
When community mobilisers passed by my house, I was working. On my return from work I heard my wife talk about a new health project and she said they bring pills for young children to prevent malaria. There was lots of talk around the neighbourhood about this new thing called SMC to help our children.
In the past years during the rainy season, I always suffered with my children getting malaria. For my daughter, the youngest, it was really bad and that scared me. So, when this new project arrived, I wanted to try it because I couldn’t stand to see my daughter suffering again. Although she suffered a little with diarrhoea when she started taking the medication, it didn’t last and until today she hasn’t had malaria. I can say that the pills saved my daughter from more illness – the child is well for the first time in this rainy season.
Not everyone in our neighbourhood was as positive as me. There were a lot of men who did not accept the medication when the staff arrived to give it out. After the first month, I had already seen that the medicine really works, so I started to talk to these men and encourage them to accept it. I told them that when we are given a recommendation, we should follow it because it’s for our children’s health. I think I made a difference in helping to convince them.
I would like to see this [SMC] campaign continuing because it is distributing good medicine that is saving children from getting ill, maybe even saving their lives. My child is healthy and I never imagined it would be like this. I would like for Malaria Consortium and the government to bring more initiatives like this that are helping us alleviate the pain caused by malaria in all rainy seasons.”