By: Wisdom Acka & Damilola Adeleke
Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) drugs have been deployed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to fight the menace.
The distribution of the drugs was designed to ensure comprehensive coverage of all eligible children, especially in the rural communities.
Director, FCT Department of Public Health, Dr. Saddiq Abdulrahman, disclosed this on Thursday, during FCT Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention 2023 Campaign Media Parley in Abuja.
Abdulrahman said that the FCT Administration acknowledges that malaria parasite has remained endemic in many of the Territory’s rural areas.
Represented by Head of Health Promotion, Hauwa Ibrahim, the Director noted that “2023 Malaria campaign have been well thought out to tackle all the identified shortcomings of last years.”
He, however, stated that “SMC commenced in the FCT in 2022, and a low coverage of 66 % of eligible children was recorded, against the WHO recommendation of at least 80%.”
“This was largely due to the limited reach (denial of access of the SMC team to some quarters and places; like barracks, gated estates, markets, etc) and non-compliance of some parents,” he restated.
Also Speaking, Dr. Modupe Adeyinka, Director of Primary Healthcare in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), who officially flagged off the Campaign, assured that the team had been adequately trained to reach hard to reach areas.
Urging all stakeholders to help mobilise support for the acceptance of the anti malaria drugs at rural communities, Adeyinka said: “We solicit the support of the media, community, religious leaders and other stakeholders to support awareness creation about SMC in communities, churches and Mosques.”
Her words: “We also call for social mobilization to increasing acceptance of the anti malaria drugs”.