Malaria: Oyo Urges Parents to Present Wards for Chemoprevention Drugs
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Parents in Oyo State have been urged to bring their children under the ages of 3 to 59 months for chemoprevention drugs in a bid to prevent them from being overcome by malaria.
The government is administering the drug to children in the state as part of its efforts to achieve zero malaria prevalence in children under the age of five.
The drugs are being given to the children under the second phase of the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Campaign (SMC) held in partnership with the Malaria Consortium.
The programme was inaugurated in the Saki West Local Government Area of the state, targeting the prevention of malaria during the peak of the malaria season.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Dr Olusoji Adeyanju, reiterated the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration’s commitment to significantly reduce malaria cases among children under five and pregnant women.
He explained that it was essential for parents and guardians to present their children to health workers for drug administration, maintaining that the children within the age bracket are expected to take chemoprevention drugs monthly for five months.
According to him, the state government will continue strengthening routine healthcare services to improve the health of women and children through different healthcare initiatives.
“This initiative is in line with the global Malaria strategy, which sets the target of reducing global malaria incidence and mortality rates by at least 90 per cent by year 2030,” he said.
“The second round of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention distribution will commence on Friday, June 16, 2023, and last till Monday, June 19, 2023. Distribution will be carried out monthly for four days each month. The drugs will be repeated every 28 days from June to October 2023.
“The present drugs SPAQ that will be distributed are free, and they do not cure malaria, but they prevent Malaria. It doesn’t work alone; we have to ensure that our children also sleep inside the net. Our environment should be clean without mosquito birding sites,” Mr Adeyanju added.
He appreciated the healthcare providers, implementing the process and the Malaria Consortium team for their support.
He said the state government had received significant support from the Malaria Consortium, which implements SMC.
He said the mass distribution of malaria preventive drugs in the state has significantly reduced malaria cases in children between 3 to 59 months in Oyo state to 52 per cent from 72 per cent.
Earlier, the wife of the Chairman of Saki West Local Government, Mrs Funmi Akinola, expressed the readiness of the local government to give the project the necessary support.
The Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention will be administered in six local governments with the highest malaria burden, which includes Irepo, Olorunsogo and Ogbomoso North.
Others are Saki East, Saki West and Surulere local government areas of Oyo State.