Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC)

Photo: Toby Madden / MMV

Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) is defined as “the intermittent administration of full treatment of an anti-malarial medicine during the malaria season to prevent malarial illness with the objective of maintaining therapeutic drug concentrations in the blood throughout the period of greatest malarial risk”1 Seasonal malaria disproportionately affects children aged five years and under.

In 2012, the World Health Organization recommended the use of SMC based on findings from clinical trials and large-scale studies, that showed that SMC is a protective strategy that can reduce malaria morbidity and mortality in children from three to 59 months old.1

Malaria, a disease caused by a parasite of the Plasmodium family, is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most common poverty-related diseases and is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among young children in the region.2

In 2018, WHO announced that progress to reduce malaria cases and deaths had slowed. The organization therefore emphasized the urgent need to optimize access to preventative measures. SMC was highlighted as a priority.3