New project prepares to provide seasonal malaria protection in Zamfara and Sokoto
(Nigeria) As World Malaria Day 2015 approaches (25th April), a new project in Nigeria prepares for the distribution of preventive malarial treatments to an estimated 792,132 children under five years old, in 2015 alone, in Zamfara and Sokoto states.
For the 25 million children who live across the Sahel, where there is a seasonal surge in malaria incidence, the World Health Organization recommends seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) as an effective tool in the fight against malaria.
Malaria Consortium has been providing SMC in Nigeria since 2013, when a pilot project was rolled out in the states of Katsina and Jigawa, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as UKaid through DFID. “In 2013 we worked with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) on the project, providing SMC to 170,000 at-risk children,” said Dr Kolawole Maxwell, country director for Malaria Consortium Nigeria. “This approach was well received and resulted in a 70 percent reduction in all-cause presentation of fever in monitored health centres. We will strive to build on these encouraging results and apply the lessons learned from the pilot to our new project. It is a great opportunity to continue to work with the NMEP, promoting government ownership and sustainability of these and future SMC interventions,” Dr Maxwell added.
Achieving Catalytic Expansion of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in the Sahel (ACCESS-SMC), is a UNITAID-funded project led by Malaria Consortium, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and will provide 15 million treatments in 2015 and 30 million treatments in 2016 across the region, to help protect an estimated 3.4 million children and 6.8 million children respectively.
This project brings together a consortium of leading players in malaria prevention, working to support national malaria control programs to deliver SMC to seven West African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and The Gambia. Agbo Emmanuel, SMC focal point, NMEP Nigeria said, “Our collaboration with Malaria Consortium for the ACCESS-SMC Project provides more than the opportunity to scale up SMC in the Sahel region of the country. By participating in this project, we have the opportunity to meet with the seven other implementing countries, share experiences, discuss challenges and lessons learnt with SMC partners and stakeholders.”
Over the next two years, ACCESS-SMC will work with national governments and international donors to help secure additional resources so that more children can benefit from this highly effective approach to malaria prevention, both now and into the future.
About Malaria Consortium
Malaria Consortium is a leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to the control of malaria and applies its depth of technical expertise and practical experience to develop smarter solutions that improve and save lives. Through innovation, Malaria Consortium increases the impact of malaria and disease control programs so that they benefit all communities, including delivery in the most challenging environments. Malaria Consortium has pioneered best practices and approaches, setting the standards for delivery and access. Malaria Consortium is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with over 95% of its staff based in malaria-endemic countries supporting Ministries of Health and partners in over 20 countries every year. For more information, please visit www.malariaconsortium.org.
About Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.
UNITAID is part of the global response to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, contributing by facilitating access to new, better, faster and more affordable medicines, technologies and systems. It plays a catalytic role, finding and transforming game-changing ideas into workable solutions for real world problems. Ultimately, it enables access to better and more affordable tools for the broader landscape of donors, countries and communities, helping them to achieve greater impact from existing resources. UNITAID was founded in 2006 by the governments of Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the UK. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
For more information about the ACCESS-SMC project in Nigeria, please contact John Dada, Communications Manager, Malaria Consortium: [email protected]
 Malaria Consortium, Catholic Relief Services, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Management Sciences for Health, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Speak Up Africa and Centre de Support en Santé International.
Keywords: Preventive treatments