The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Borno State government have described the 2018 Seasonal malaria drugs administration on children aged 3 months to 59 months in eleven Borno local government areas which targetted over 1 million children in the state, as a huge success, given the acceptance of the drugs in the affected local government areas visited.
The seasonal malaria drugs administration which is part of proactive measures taken by the Borno State government with support from the WHO to forestall outbreak of seasonal diseases will end with four circles of the drugs administration in the areas before the end of this rainy season.
The local government areas that benefited from the excercise include Jere, Guzamala, Mafa, Kalabalge, Kukawa, Nganzai, Mobbar and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council among others, with some of the local government areas previously devastated by Boko Haram terrorists before they were liberated, coupled with the influx of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to the metropolis and environs.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday during the 2nd cycle of the drugs administration in Maiduguri, Dr Bala Hassan, the WHO public health officer in Borno said, the level of the acceptance of the drugs in the local government areas visited was very high with parents bringing out their wards to be administered.
Dr Hassan added that the essence of embarking on the excercise during the rainy season is because of prevalence of the malaria disease during the season because of high presence of mosquitoes, the carriers of the plasmodium which contaminates the blood to form the malaria parasite through mosquito saliva.
“WHO and the Borno State government Malaria Elimination Programme (MEP), embarked on this excercise to clear children’s blood of plasmodium to prevent them from contracting malaria that had caused 50 per cent of deaths in children in the state
“The four cycle of the malaria drugs administration for 2018 is meant to reduce malaria “prevalence and mortality” in camps and communities . The administration of the tablets on children, should also be complemented by always keeping the environment clean to prevent breeding of mosquitoes through stagnant water and filthy environment.
“We started the first cycle from July 14th to 17th of this year before embarking on this 2nd cycle which began on the 23rd of August this month to end on 26th being Sunday. We will embark on the remaining circles to see that children are protected from the disease within the rainy season, which is the peak of malaria disease on children aged 3 months to 59 months ,” Hassan said.
He noted that the whole 27 Local government areas of the state would have benefited from the excercise, but for lack of funds, they selected areas highly devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency in the state, saying that the malaria prevention drugs administered to the children protects them for a period of 28 days after which another dosage is administered to them in cycles until the rainy season is over.
“There is improvement on the acceptance of the drugs. A dosage contains four tablets with the first two of the tabs administered on the child after dissolving in a water, before the remaining tablets is administered one each on the child on every next morning after a breakfast. There is no side effects to the drugs,” she said.