Lodwar – 13th June, 2024 (Public Communication and Media Relations)

The Deputy Governor Dr John Erus has today launched the country’s first Seasonal Malaria Chemo-prevention (SMC), piloted in Turkana, aims at preventing malaria among children.

The pilot, necessitated by previous studies by the Department of Health and Sanitation, Moi and Duke Universities, confirmed Turkana County was a seasonal malaria zone; with cases increasing drastically during the rainy seasons.

The exercise will be conducted in Turkana Central Sub-county, in collaboration with National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

After the launch, SMC will be conducted in five cycles targeting children aged 3 to 59 months.

Speaking during the launch at Kanamkemer Sub-county Hospital, Dr Erus said SMC is in line with the county’s health agenda, focused on prevention measures.

“Turkana County has a high disease burden as it neighbours three countries resulting to new infections and transmissions due to the movement at the borders,” he said.

In regards to Malaria, he urged mothers to ensure their children take the drugs as prescribed to prevent malaria.

The WHO defines SMC as an administration of a curative dose of antimalarial medicine to children at high risk of seasonal malaria transmission zones, regardless of whether are infected of malaria. The children will administered the drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine + amodiaquine, popularly abbreviated to SP+AQ.

The Member of County Assembly for Kanamkemer Ward, James Ikeny, said he and his counterparts in Turkana Central supported the SMC first launch to be held in Turkana Central.

“The prevalence of malaria in the county is 39% and SMC has proven to reduce the disease up to 75%,” said Dr Gilchrist Lokoel, Chief Officer for Medical Services.

He also highlighted at the end of the exercise, Moi and Duke Universities, would conduct a research to evaluate the effectiveness of SMC. This, he said, would inform the implementation of similar chemo-prevention of malaria across the county and as well as the rest of the country.

The Head of Division of NMCP Dr Kibor Keitany said that Turkana County was selected because of the seasonality of its malaria cases which peaked between the month of May to September.

He added that the national program has placed emphasis on prevention interventions such as SMC and the upcoming mass net distribution.

The CRS representative, Fred Ireri, appreciated the county’s support in making the launch a success and assured its commitment to supporting the county’s efforts in reducing the burden of malaria.

The event was attended by County and Turkana Central Sub-county Health Management Teams and partner representatives from National Ministry of Health, Catholic Relief Services, Moi and Duke Universities and National Malaria Control Program.

share to


13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024