Posts or Comments 04 December 2022

Children &Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Bill Brieger | 02 Nov 2022 09:52 am

Sponsorship of target children during the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC): a new strategy for coverage

San Barro, Ousmane Badolo, Mathurin Bonzi, Moumouni Bonkoungou Youssouf Sawadogo, Andre Kone, Thierry Ouedraogo, Mathurin Dodo, Lolade Oseni, Gladys Tetteh, and William Brieger explain an innovation of Sponsorship of target children during the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) campaign in order to improve malaria prevention follow-up and coverage in the Reo health district of Burkina Faso in 2021.

Malaria is a major public health problem in Burkina Faso. According to health statistics for 2020, malaria accounted for 39.8% of health center consultations, 54.1% of hospitalizations and 27.4% of deaths. Children under 5 years of age pay the highest toll with 72.4% of deaths.

In 2021, the Reo Health District and the other six districts of the Centre-Ouest region were supported by the PMI Impact Malaria Project to implement Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC). This includes monthly preventive doses of Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine/amodiaquine for 4 months during the main malaria transmission season. A recent multi-country article in The Lancet showed that while 75% of eligible children received a dose in any given month, only 53% received a dose on all four months.

Coverage reports indicate that better follow-up is needed once children start the SMC process. Thus, during the SMC Campaign, the district management team introduced an innovation  consisting of “sponsorship” of SMC target children as a new follow-up mechanism. These sponsors are Community Distributors (CDs) or Community Based Organizations (CBOs). They voluntarily agreed to follow up with five children each, between July and October 2021 in order …

  1. To ensure that the children actually took the medication
  2. To monitor whether these children did not get sick between two cycles
  3. To inform the nurse in charge of the health center in case of illness of a sponsored child
  4. To encourage parents to use bed nets to protect their children. In total, 1468 children were monitored and 224 (15.26%) had malaria.

This innovation on SMC distribution contributed to protect 84% of the children. Challenges include the lack of financial resources to support the sponsors and the inaccessibility of some areas due to the rains. When medicines are correctly administered to children and they are regularly monitored, protection is better.

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