By Olatunji Omirin
Maiduguri — World Health Organization (WHO) has supported the Borno State Ministry for Health to flag off the fourth circle of Malaria campaign targeting a total of 854,000 children under five years age across 7 local government areas of the state.
WHO Health Emergency programmes Manager, Dr. Collins Owili explained that seasonal malarial chemo prevention campaign was introduced in Borno state with a view to reducing high child morbidity and mortality rates in children 12 -59 weeks in Borno state due to malaria.
“In response to high burden of malaria in north-east Nigeria, WHO initiated a seasonal malaria modelling exercise in 2017 aimed swiftly reducing the toll of malaria by saving 10 000 lives among children under five in Borno state.
“This exercise has proven to be effective and that is why we continued with another four cycles this year. It is hoped that lessons learned from the campaign in north-eastern Nigeria can be applied in other emergency settings across the world.” Dr. Collins said.
On his part, the WHO National Malaria Consultant for Northeast, Iniabasi Nglass said the 4th cycle is the last of the planned malaria campaign for Borno state this year, saying more than 2,700 volunteers across seven local government areas piloted the campaign.
“The programme is called seasonal Malaria chemo prevention and it is for the children 12- 59 weeks”, he said. “We have done 3 circles and this is the last one for this year. We go house to house to administered the drugs for the children. We started yesterday and it will last for 4days.
“We are targeting 854, 000 within 7 LGAs include; MMC, Jere, Mafa, Damboa, Kukawa, Guzamala and Mobar local government area.
“We have house to house volunteers team, each team comprises 3 persons and in MMC we have 481 teams, in Jere we have 226 teams, Mafa 50 teams, Damboa 50 teams and so on, these teams work hand in hand to make sure these children are reached.