The Upper East Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service will commence a mass immunization of children under five years against malaria starting from August 15, 2016.
A targeted number of 215,845 children under 5 years will be immunized with Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine (SP) and Amodiaquine under the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprophylaxis (SMC) programme for a period of four months aimed at reducing the effects of malaria on children.
At a press briefing in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Kofi Issah, bemoaned the regional malaria fatality rate of 0.7% in 2015, stressing that, the programme after a successful end will drastically reduce malaria deaths in the region.
“We will immunize under five children with the Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine and Amodiaquine on the first day and the subsequent two days, only the Amodiaquine will be used, so it will be for three days.We are targeting the seasonal malaria chemo prevention because giving these drugs to children between the ages of 3 to 59 months in full course of treatment will be able to get enough dose of the drugs in the blood streams of the children.”
This is because, these months are the highest transmission season for malaria, so when they take these drugs they are able to fight the malaria parasites. The dosages will differ for children between 3 to 11 months and those between 12 to 59 months” Dr. Issah stated.
The first phase of the immunization is from the 15th to the 20th of August while the second, third and fourth phases will be done in September, October and November.
The immunization exercise which cost GHc 1,622,020.00 and will engage the services of health workers and community health volunteers from August to November.
Dr. Issah entreated parents whose children may miss out for the first month immunization to take advantage of the subsequent immunizations months and impressed on parents whose children may react to the drugs to urgently report to the nearest health center for care.
By: Fred Awuni/citifmonline.com/Ghana