AMMREN BlogLatest NewsMalaria StoriesThe malaria season is coming – we must continue to protect children at risk

April 25, 2020by ammren_admin0

As anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic is felt around the globe, the voices of those at risk of malaria ring in parallel—voices which often go unheard.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria takes a child’s life every two minutes.

The vast majority of incidence and mortality occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where health systems are fragile, and any extra burden placed on scarce resources could be the difference between saving or losing lives.

Protecting young children from malaria

In the Sahel Sub-Region of Africa, 60% or more of total malaria cases occur during the four to five month rainy season between July and November.

During this period, Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC), a WHO-recommended strategy, is used to protect young children from malaria.

The intervention requires the administration of doses of a child-friendly medicine once per month (over three days) for the duration of the season and has been proven to prevent malaria in children under five by approximately 75%.

Recent progress has been remarkable in the scale-up of this intervention. In a UNITAID-funded project, seven countries in the Sahel region received support in piloting and increasing the reach of SMC.

By project end, coverage had more than doubled from 2.6 million children in 2014 to over 6.5 million in 2016. Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) supported the project by strengthening and diversifying the supply of medicines to meet the growing demand for SMC. In 2018, SMC coverage ensured protection for up to 20 million children. Currently, MMV is supporting the scale-up of the intervention in 13 countries.

As anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic is felt around the globe, the voices of those at risk of malaria ring in parallel—voices which often go unheard.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria takes a child’s life every two minutes.

The vast majority of incidence and mortality occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where health systems are fragile, and any extra burden placed on scarce resources could be the difference between saving or losing lives.

Protecting young children from malaria

In the Sahel Sub-Region of Africa, 60% or more of total malaria cases occur during the four to five month rainy season between July and November.

During this period, Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC), a WHO-recommended strategy, is used to protect young children from malaria.

The intervention requires the administration of doses of a child-friendly medicine once per month (over three days) for the duration of the season and has been proven to prevent malaria in children under five by approximately 75%.

Recent progress has been remarkable in the scale-up of this intervention. In a UNITAID-funded project, seven countries in the Sahel region received support in piloting and increasing the reach of SMC.

By project end, coverage had more than doubled from 2.6 million children in 2014 to over 6.5 million in 2016. Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) supported the project by strengthening and diversifying the supply of medicines to meet the growing demand for SMC. In 2018, SMC coverage ensured protection for up to 20 million children. Currently, MMV is supporting the scale-up of the intervention in 13 countries.

Author:

André-Marie Tchouatieu

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