Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) is a public health intervention that can reduce the incidence of malaria among young children during the rainy season. It has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2012 in countries with high seasonal malaria transmission.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) carried out the first implementation of SMC in South Sudan in 2019 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), after extensive experience with similar interventions in other countries. As a result, simple and severe cases of malaria declined among children under five years old in the targeted rural areas around Yambio, Western Equatoria state, as did hospitalizations for malaria. Over the course of the intervention from July to December 2019, up to 13,689 children received monthly preventive malaria treatment, and the incidence of severe malaria was reduced by 77.1 percent among children under five at Yambio State Hospital.
“Children under five years of age are the most at risk of complications and even death if infected with malaria,” said Buai Tut Chol, MSF medical coordinator support in South Sudan. “Complications can include anemia and convulsions, becoming unconscious, or being unable to talk or walk. This is where seasonal malaria chemoprevention has a positive impact by reducing the burden of the disease on children.”