25 million children, under the age of 5, in the Sahel could be protected by SMC each year
The vast majority of malaria deaths occur in young children. In some parts of Africa, mortality rates are particularly high during and immediately after the rainy season. Around 39 million African children under the age of 5 years live in areas of seasonal malaria, where an estimated 152,000 lose their lives to the disease each year.2
Most of these children live in the Sahel and sub-Sahel regions of Africa where, to protect young children, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the administration of monthly courses of the antimalarial drug combination sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine (SPAQ) as Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC).1 The intervention has the potential to avert several million new cases of malaria and save tens of thousands of lives.2
A coordination group comprising malaria-endemic country institutions, malaria control programme managers and international partners is being established by the West Africa Roll Back Malaria Network (WARN), to coordinate SMC-related activities and support countries to plan, implement and monitor SMC.
1. World Health Organization. “Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention” (Last update: 7 August 2013)
2. Cairns M et al. “Estimating the potential public health impact of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in African children.” Nat Commun. 3:881. (2012).