Tool Kit will help plan, implement and monitor WHO-recommended life-saving intervention for children
MMV and partners launch a new Tool Kit to support the effective implementation of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC). Malaria is still a major cause of childhood death across the Sahel region of West Africa and the majority of cases occur during the rainy season. It is estimated that SMC, the intermittent administration of full treatment courses of an antimalarial during the malaria season, could prevent up to 5 million malaria cases and save up to 20,000 young lives.1 In 2012, the WHO recommended SMC with a combination of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine (SP+AQ) for children aged between 3 and 59 months in areas of high seasonal malaria transmission across the Sahel sub-region.2
Implementation readiness, including resource mobilization, drug supply and training, is critical. To support the preparedness and effective implementation of SMC, MMV and partners developed a practical extension of WHO’s field guide – the SMC Tool Kit.
SMC implementation is limited to the rainy season. Children will lose the chance of being protected from malaria if the drug is not delivered on time during the rainy season in a particular year, and countries will need to postpone it to the next year. The SMC Tool Kit will support those involved in SMC implementation to be ready on time, year after year, so children can fully benefit from its potential for protection against malaria.
The Tool Kit was developed in close collaboration with organisations that have first-hand experience with SMC, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, Malaria Consortium and UNICEF, as well as national malaria control programme managers from SMC-implementing countries. To be fully aligned with the WHO recommendation and to ensure acceptance, all Tool Kit materials have been developed in consultation with the WHO. The emphasis is on visual and graphical communication to ensure ease of understanding and adaptability, and the resources are available in English and French.
In addition, the Tool Kit has been field tested with medical staff and mothers in an SMC-implementing country, Senegal, to ensure that they find the materials easy to understand. The SMC Tool Kit was finalized based on their feedback and can be customised to address the needs of other implementing countries, where necessary.
“MMV is proud to contribute to the roll-out of this essential programme,” said George Jagoe, EVP Access and Product Management at MMV. “Far too many young children die from malaria each year. As a new intervention, SMC has tremendous potential to diminish these avoidable deaths. We will continue to work with countries to ensure that the SMC Tool Kit meets their needs as they undertake scale-up at a national level.”
The SMC Tool Kit is freely available on our website to all implementers of SMC.
1. Cairns M et al. “Estimating the potential public health impact of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in African children”. Nat. Commun. doi:10.1038/ ncomms1879 (2012)