The County Health Management team, in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), has conducted a three-day orientation for the newly developed Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) tools that will be piloted in Turkana Central Sub-County.

The tools were developed based on findings from seasonal malaria research in Turkana North and Central Sub-counties conducted by Moi University, in conjunction with Duke University.

The tools will used in the upcoming SMC campaign in June 2024 expected to prevent malaria in children aged 3 to 59 months.

The objective of the training was to introduce and familiarize the health officers with the SMC tools which assist in making evidence-based decisions on the management of seasonal malaria in the county.

During the Courtesy call with Catholic Relief Services at his office, the County Chief Officer for Medical Services, Dr Gilchrist Lokoel, pointed out that Turkana should be classified as an endemic malaria zone, as data indicates that there is a high morbidity and mortality rate concerning malaria.

“Sixty percent of the people in Turkana are pastoralists thus coming up with this intervention will help prevent malaria as it will net this population,” he said.

Deputy Director for Medical Services, Alice Akalapatan, said the training of the health workers and Community Health Promoters on SMC tools ensures that the SP+AQ drug was administered as required to the children.

SP+AQ is a combination of malaria drugs that can provide long-lasting protection from the deadly parasitic disease; administered in intervals during the rainy season.

Malaria Program Coordinator, David Ekai, said that the tools were going to facilitate commodity accountability, data collection, and data management which would enhance malaria intervention during the campaign.

The CRS Project Manager – Health, Moses Orinda, revealed that there would be an end-of-cycle review meeting after the completion of the first five cycles to enable a successful implementation of the SMC campaign with the provision for technical support to reduce malaria.

One of the lead researchers, Prof Diana Menya of Moi University said that the findings of any SMC research in Turkana that would be published will be geared towards informing national policy and other counties on SMC interventions.

The participants were given their input to improve the tools and a sub-county taskforce team was selected to make the suggested changes. The tools will later be scaled up to other sub-counties.

The tools include children’s record cards, data summary forms, facility-level data summaries, score sheets, referral forms, job aids, suspected adverse drug reaction reporting forms, stock control cards, and daily movements of SP+AQ for children aged 3-59 months per team.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024