The Ghana Health Service, (GHS), in collaboration with the National Malaria Control Program, (NMCP), will from this month begin a door to door outreach program to get all children under five years vaccinated against seasonal malaria.
To this end, a campaign dubbed: ‘Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention’, (SMC), has officially been launched to sensitize the public to the need to avail all targeted children to undergo the administration of the full treatment cause of the medicine.
Speaking at the launch at Tolon in the Northern region, the National Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Program, Dr. Keziah Malm, said the aim of the exercise is to prevent malaria illness among children in the period of greatest malarial risk.
Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention, SMC, involves the administration of antimalaria medicine; thus SP and Amodiaquine during the malaria season especially in areas where the disease is highly endemic.
Ghana incorporated the SMC into the National Strategic Plan in 2014 targeting the Northern, Upper Eat and Upper West regions.
The exercise which is targeted at children under five years will commerce this month and end in October.
The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. John Bertson Eleeza said the SMC is proven to be very effective, cost effective, well tolerated and feasible.
He said in order to further reduce malaria cases among children, additional interventions like SMC should be embraced by all to sustain the momentum towards reducing malaria to the barest minimum.
National Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Program, Dr. Keziah Malm said the launch of the program in the upper east and upper west regions has helped to reduce the incidence of severe malaria by half as well as reduce aneamia in children.
She disclosed that trained volunteers from the communities will visit homes with an electronic application called “SiCapp” to capture household details.
She appealed to community leaders to support in the fight by mobilizing their people and encouraging caregivers to avail their children for the medicine.
The Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, who launched the program said it will help stakeholders set the right priorities and advocate together so that adequate information can be disseminated to the public for the preventive measures to be taken.
Story filed by Joyce Kantam Kolamong