The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) is set to carry out the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) in nine selected states as the 2020 round of the elimination exercise.
Dr Audu Mohammed, the National Coordinator, NMEP who represented the Head, Case Management, nmep, Dr Nnenna Ogbulafor made this known during a meeting with stakeholders to review the 2019 round of the chemoprevention exercise.
Mohammed said the exercise has already commenced in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa and Yobe States. While Borno, Bauchi, Kano and Kebbi are yet to commence.
He explained that the aim of the SMC programme was to reduce malaria level and bring the mortality rate to zero.
The Coordinator noted that the 2018 World Malaria report indicated that there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide with 53 million cases annually in Nigeria.
"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 the rainy season, which starts July to October," Dr Mohammed said.
While speaking on the improvement recorded due to the SMC, Mohammed said, "There is also remarkable progress in the country’s general malaria situation evidenced by the consistent reduction in malaria prevalence according to malaria Indicator Surveys (MIS) and Demographic and Health Survey (DHS).
"The national malaria prevalence dropped from 42 per cent to 23 per cent from 2010 to 2018.
"There are also noticeable improvements in testing rates, use of recommended antimalarial, uptake of intermittent Preventive Treatment by Pregnant women (IPTp) and the use of Long Lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs)," he added.
Despite the improvement, the 2019 World Malaria report showed that Nigeria ranked the highest number of malaria cases in 2019.