Policy brief "Seasonal malaria chemoprevention where are we ten years on?"
Ten years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) first recommended the use of antimalarial drugs to prevent severe malaria in children under five in areas with high infection loads and high seasonal transmission of malaria. To mark this ten-year point, L’Initiative has produced a guidance note to outline the fundamental contribution of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) to reducing malaria mortality in infants and young children, as well as the operational and strategic challenges to be addressed to optimize the impact of SMC in the future.
Seasonal malaria chemoprevention where are we ten years on?
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential of SMC remains very strong but not sufficiently explored: it is an effective, cost-efficient response and should be scaled up urgently in a coordinated way in places where it has not been yet. In this way, it appears necessary to strengthen community mobilization among the populations concerned, within families, in all relevant countries: there is no doubt that SMC use would increase if demand also came from the community. Recommendations from WHO or from governments, although essential, are certainly not sufficient to change practices at the local individual level. Despite how effective and promising SMC is, in order to increase its impact tenfold, it must not be considered in isolation, but rather alongside the range of malaria control tools, such as long-lasting insecticidal net (LLINs), indoor residual spraying, treatments, and finally the RTS,S vaccine. Only a combined and consistent prevention strategy can sustainably reduce malaria worldwide.