The Federal Government, through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), has given Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC), to 13 million children in nine states.
The states are Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention is a preventive measure targeting children between three and 59 months of age within the Sahel region.
NMEP this year also distributed 17 million Insecticide Treated Nets in six states.
Meanwhile, about 53 million Nigerians suffer malaria-related ailments every year, while nine persons die every minute due to malaria.
Coordinator of NMEP, Dr. Audu Bala Mohammed who disclosed this at a media chat in Abuja, recalled that the agency had stressed the critical need for Nigeria and other malaria-endemic countries, to minimise any disruption of malaria prevention and treatment during the COVID-19 response, given that failure to do so, could lead to catastrophic loss of life, echoing the sentiments of various global organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mohammed observed that the WHO had disclosed that where most prevention activities are cancelled or delayed, malaria services like insecticide-treated net campaigns and access to antimalarial medicines experience severe disruption, then malaria deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa could double by the end of this year and that the death toll in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 could exceed the total number of malaria deaths reported globally in the year 2000.
Also speaking, NMEP Technical Director, Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu noted that Nigeria contributes about 25 per cent of global burden and accounts for 19 per cent of world malaria deaths. He said over 80,000 Nigerians die as a result of malaria disease annually.
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