No fewer than 796,988 children would benefit from malaria prevention medications in Gombe State.
The house-to-house administration of the antimalaria drugs would last for a period of four months and would also include the distribution of 2.3 million Insecticide Treated Nets.
Disclosing this on Monday, during the commencement of the exercise, Governor Muhammadu Yahaya, said the campaign was geared towards the elimination of malaria in Gombe state, adding that malaria eradication efforts were already yielding positive results in Nigeria.
He said, “I am happy to note that this decline in the number of deaths due to malaria in Nigeria (which now accounts for 2 out of 10 deaths in children under 5 years) was made possible due to the collective efforts of all the partners.
“The use of insecticide-treated nets and the administration of Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine for Chemoprevention of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention have proven to be among the most durable and cost-effective malaria preventive interventions.
“The commencement of distribution of over 2.3 million nets to the people of Gombe State on a door-to-door basis and using the same approach to administer SPAQ for seasonal malaria chemoprevention to 796,988 children per month for a period of four (4) months across all the 11 Local Government Areas in the State,” he said.
While urging for more partnerships that would ensure the total elimination of malaria, Yahaya bemoaned the negative impact of malaria on society, noting that it reduces the productivity of man.
“I call on corporate organisations to complement government’s efforts in malaria control through the provisions of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs); Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) for Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) for Pregnant Women; Chemicals and Equipment for Indoor Residual Spray (IRS); and anti-malarial drugs like Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) among others.
“It is estimated that malaria retards the gross domestic product (GDP) by 40% annually and costs appropriately 480 billion naira in out-of-pocket expenditure and loss of man-hours. However, malaria is preventable and curable, and over the years, we are witnessing a reduction in malaria-related deaths,” Yahaya added.