By Ahmed Abba
Damaturu – Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe on Friday flagged off the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) project in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the SMC project entails distribution of insecticide treated nets to residents as well as providing access to palatable malaria preventable drugs to safeguard population in the sahel against malaria.
Performing the flag off in Damaturu on Friday, Buni said the project was aimed at safeguarding the lives of citizens from the dreaded malaria scourge.
“The implementation of the project is being conducted by the Yobe State Government in conjunction with the Federal Government and the Roll Back Malaria partners.
“The aim is to achieve reduction in malaria morbidity and mortality rate of children less than five years by over 75 per cent.”
Buni, who was represented by Dr Lawan Gana, the state’s Commissioner for Health, also said that under the project, children less than five years old would receive anti-malarial treatment.
“Under the project, we will give anti-malarial treatment to all children less than five years (ideally 4 monthly cycles throughout the peak transmission season), which will increase the population’s access to case management, including use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT).”
The governor appealed to traditional rulers, health workers and other stakeholders to intensify efforts in enlightening and sensitizing the populace on the need for personal environmental hygiene.
Speaking at the event, Dr Babagana Machina, the Executive Secretary of the Primary Healthcare Management Board, represented by Mr Umar Chiromari, solicited full involvement and participation of the benefiting communities.
“The SMC is generally considered very safe and a cost effective way to save lives and prevent malaria illness, especially during rainy season in the Sahel region,” he said.
The World Health Organisation representative, Malam Tatagana Mustapha, reiterated the commitment of the organisation to supporting health related projects in the state.