The Secretary General at the Ministry of Public Health, Professor Louis Richard Njock has launched a chemoprevention nationwide strategy to curb malaria in children under five years. The launching ceremony took place today Monday 25th April 2022, at the Soa Health District in the Mefou and Afamba Division of the Centre Region.
The Intermittent Preventive Treatment of malaria in Infants (IPTi) is being administered through the Enlarged Programme on Immunization Services. Each child, as from the age of 10 weeks to 5 years will henceforth receive a tablet of Sulfadoxine Pyriméthamine (SP), the pediatric formula will be repeated during each vaccination contact until the child is 23 months.
The Intermittent Preventive Treatment of malaria in Infants (IPTi) will be piloted in six districts of the centre region; Bafia, Nkolbisson, Ngoumou, Soa, Obala and Ntui for four years.
It should be noted that Malaria is a life-threatening, acute febrile illness transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. And World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25th every year. And this year, it is celebrated under the theme “Harness Innovation to Reduce the Malaria Disease Burden and Save Lives.” The global campaign emboldens everyone to draw efforts and encourages worldwide campaigns to reduce the burden, suffering and death from malaria.
Malaria is a devastating illness that has affected almost 241 million people in 2020 with estimated death being 627,000 in 85 countries. Despite its high burden, it is a completely preventable and curable disease, if proper measures are adopted. There are almost five Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria in humans among which the two most threatful species are P. falciparum and P. vivax. Others include P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. knowlesi.
To achieve the WHO's Global Technical Strategy for Malaria targets by 2030, WHO has broadened the use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine (first vaccine against P. falciparum) in October 2021 for young children in moderate and high transmission areas.