The World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with Borno State government has flagged off seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Campaigns (MPCs) for two million children in the state.
The joint malaria campaign, which targets children between the ages of three to 3- 59 months, is to cover 25 local council areas in Borno with the exception of Abadam and Marte local government areas which are not accessible due to the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgents.
Speaking during the campaign on Saturday in Maiduguri, WHO National Coordinator, Malaria Emergencies in Nigeria, Dr. Iniabasi Nglas, said the seasonal malaria Chemoprevention campaign is not only done in Borno, but across other eight Sahel states of Yobe, Bauchi , Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina , Zamfara, Jigawa and Kano.
She noted that malaria being the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, and Borno not left out, coupled with Boko Haram insurgency, a lot of children have missed the opportunity of getting proper healthcare services.
“And in these parts of the country, peak rainfall lasts three to four months and seasonal malaria Chemoprevention campaign which is being flagged off is to protect the Sahel areas. Within these three to four months, there is peak malaria incidences and prevalence.
“The programme is scheduled to happen during the peak rainfall to protect children between the ages of 3 to 59 months from malaria sickness. The programme is not only done here , but in other eight states in the country.
“Borno happened to be one of the states, but in Borno, WHO is taking the lead working with Borno state government with support from global fund. We are going to do this programme for five days, but each child will get a drug the first day, after that, the second and the third day doses are handed over to caregivers or parents and guided on what to do.
Also speaking, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Elkanemi , who witnessed the flag off in his domain, urged WHO to extend the excercise to the internally displaced persons ( IDPs ) and host communities where children are more vulnerable.
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