Kogi Flags Off Of Malaria Chemoprevention Program 

The Kogi State Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Malaria Consortium, has launched the 2023 Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention Program (SMC) with the goal of achieving zero malaria prevalence in children under the age of five in the state.

Governor Yahaya Bello, who inaugurated the program at the Government House in Lokoja on Wednesday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to significantly reducing malaria cases among children under five and pregnant women.

Represented by his Deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, the governor promised to continue strengthening routine healthcare services to improve the health of women and children in Kogi State, which is largely covered by the ‘Bello Care Initiative’.

The governor mentioned that the State Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malaria Consortium, the sole implementer of SMC, which began mass distribution of malaria preventive drugs in the state in 2021.

He added that the SMC program was piloted in nine local government areas (LGAs) in 2021 and was expanded to cover all 21 LGAs in 2022 due to its success in reducing the malaria burden among children under five.

According to recent Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) data, the effort has significantly reduced malaria cases in children under five from 25 to 16 per cent.

The governor urged all the Chairmen of the 21 LGAs in Kogi State to provide the necessary support to ensure the success of the program across the state.

He also implored traditional and religious leaders, NGOs, and other critical stakeholders to raise awareness and mobilize the people, ensuring that children within the target age group benefit from the program.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Zakari Usman, expressed appreciation to the governor for creating an enabling environment for the conduct of this year’s SMC in Kogi.


Dr Usman emphasized that the governor’s efforts, along with other notable healthcare interventions, have led to significant achievements by the present administration.

“With the continued support of His Excellency, I believe malaria will be reduced to its barest minimum in Kogi State,” he said.

The commissioner mentioned that the Kogi Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Malaria Consortium, had begun training state personnel who would then transfer the knowledge to others at the local government and community levels for the SMC exercise.

He disclosed that the State Government’s target for this year’s SMC exercise was to administer the drugs to approximately 1.2 million children between the ages of three and 59 months.

He further stated that the state had already received five trailer loads of the drugs at the Central Store for distribution to all 713 health facilities offering SMC across the state. The drugs are provided free of charge, and any patent medicine store/vendor caught selling them will face legal consequences.

The State Programme Coordinator of Malaria Consortium, Pharm. Kenneth Maduka mentioned that over 14,000 volunteers had been engaged to carry out the SMC exercise, ensuring effective service delivery.

Maduka highlighted that the drugs had been proven to reduce malaria-related deaths in children by about 70 to 80 per cent.

The Executive Director of the Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), Dr Abubakar Yakubu, commended the state government and other partners, expressing confidence that the efforts would significantly reduce malaria prevalence in the state.

In their goodwill messages, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and other partners assured the Kogi State Government of their continuous support for a successful SMC exercise throughout the state.

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