The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) said on Thursday nine eligible northern states in the country have been targeted for the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) to eliminate the scourge of malaria this year.
The 2018 World Malaria report showed that there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide with 53 million annual cases in Nigeria contributing to a 25 percent global burden.
The report said with 81,640 deaths annually, Nigeria accounts for 19 percent of global malaria deaths.
The National Coordinator of NMEP, Dr. Audu Mohammed, disclosed this at a meeting with stakeholders on the review of the 2019 round of SMC and proposed the 2020 round of intervention.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Head of Case Management, NMEP, Dr. Nnenna Ogbulafor said the exercise was already taking place in Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
He added that Bauchi, Borno, Kano, and Kebbi States have been added to the programe aimed at reducing the malaria burden in the country.
The NMEP chief said the SMC scale-up exercise is focused on expanding its implementation so that more children would benefit from the exercise.
“By 2020, we will cover the nine Sahel states. Last year, we did six states and it was not full coverage, but in 2020 we will have nine states, which will give us more impact.
“These are states that have peak period of the malaria disease especially during rainy season, which starts July to October.” (NAN)