17/04/2014
Alena KOSCALOVA

In 2013, seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) was introduced in Niger in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the national policy to combat Malaria. Children aged 3 to 59 months received curative doses of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine once a month over a course of 3 days from July to November throughout a mass campaign.
The target group of children aged from 3 to 59 months - living in 12 health areas of five health districts (Magaria, Madaoua, Bouza, Madaraounfa and Guidam-Roumdji) spread over three regions of Niger (Zinder, Tahoua, Maradi) - was initially estimated at 139 000 children. After having repeated the population censuses in the respective districts the estimation had to be increased by 50 % reaching a total of 206 000 children in the target group.
The SMC medicine, available in combination packs containing both SP and AQ, was distributed by more than 2 000 local community agents supported by 90 supervisors. The medicine was given out in 179 large fixed sites, 75 small fixed sites and by 99 teams distributing door-to-door.
Only the OCB teams in the Guidam Roumdji district supervised the drug administration during all 3 days. In the other districts, only the intake of the first dose was supervised, the other two doses were then administered by relatives at home.