Beginning Monday July 12th, 2021, about 200 trained health workers and 943 trained community volunteers will administer a single dose of Sulpfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) and 3-day treatment course of Amodaiquine (AQ) to 131,556 children aged between 3 and 59 months once a month for 4 months in all Districts, Sub-districts and communities in the Savannah Region.
In view of this, the Savannah Regional Health Directorate held a stakeholders meeting on Thursday, 8th July, 2021 to generate demand for the 2021 SMC implementation and to solicit for stakeholders support for the program.
In a welcome address, the Savannah Regional Director of Health Service whose speech was read on his behalf by his Deputy Director in charge of Public Health Dr. Michael Biredu said it has been suggested that more humans have died of malaria than of any other diseases.
According to him, malaria kills more than a million children a year in Africa alone and its eradication is a major challenge for the international community.
He added that malaria is endemic in Ghana and that means all the almost 30 million inhabitants in Ghana are susceptible to malaria and that the incidence of malaria still accounts for averagely 40.0% of all outpatient attendance with the most vulnerable groups being children under 5 years of age and pregnant women.
The Savannah Regional Health Director said the SMC involves intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an antimalarial medicine to prevent malaria illness by maintaining therapeutic antimalarial drug concentration in the the blood throughout the period of greatest malaria risk and that the exercise is implemented to coincide with the peak rainy season (June – October)
The health director also added that SMC has been shown to be effective, well tolerated and feasible, preventing 75-85% of episodes of uncomplicated and severe malaria in children under 5.
He appealed to the stakeholders to to enhance collaboration in the fight against malaria and that it is obvious that the successful implementation of the SMC exercise requires community participation and ownership.
The malaria focal person Mr. Buamah Marcel took the stakeholders through a PowerPoint presentation on how the SMC exercise is going to be carried out and also entreated the stakeholders to pass the information on to the public to take the exercise serious.