War against malaria: 1.2 million free mosquito nets for Abia households

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 26 July 2012 | 3,528 times

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The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) will kick-off next month in Abia State with the distribution of 1.2 million Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to households in the state.

Transport & Business Express reports that the NMCP which commenced in Nigeria with distribution of LLINs in 2009 will be launched in Abia on August 6 at the state level and in the 17 local governments the next day.

It was gathered that 46 million LLINs have so far been distributed in 31 states and FCT, Abuja, while plans are in place to complete distribution of the remaining 25.1 million LLINs in the remaining six states.  

Abia State Director of Public Health and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health, Chief Franklin Orji, said over  1,000 Distribution Points (DP) have been created in the 291 electoral wards of the state and other necessary logistics put in place for a smooth distribution exercise.

Also, health personnel in Local Government Areas have been trained to sensitise the populace in the communities on the essence of the campaign.

“Household mobilisation will commence from July 28 and end on August 3, 2012,” Orji said.

He added that “mobilisers would visit households, register and issue net cards to them. The cards would be presented during redemption (that is when the distribution of LLINs has been officially flagged-off) and receive two nets.”

“Women only are allowed to come to distribution points to redeem the nets for crowd control purposes,” he stressed.

“Beneficiaries would be educated on LLINs at the DPs on the benefits, proper hanging and use of LLINs while myths and misconceptions will be addressed during the distribution exercise,” the Director said.  

The 1.2 million LLINs were donated to Abia by the Yakubu Gowon Centre, in conjunction with Jimmy Carter Centre in July and August 2010.

Delay in distributing the items have been occasioned by what officials ascribe to “putting in place of all the stipulated modalities and strategies.”

Director of Health Education, Mr. Okebugwu Uzoma Mac-Nelson, who is also Chairman of Demand Creation of the Abia LLIN campaign, and Mrs. Adaeze Aidenagbon of the Federal Ministry of Health and member of the Abia support team, expressed optimism that if the nets are put to good use, malaria disease would be drastically reduced in Abia.

Said to be the most available tool for malaria prevention, LLIN nets repel and/or kill mosquitoes and other insects. LLIN lasts for three years if used properly and can be washed with mild detergent when dirty.

*Photo shows Gen. Yakubu Gowon, whose Yakubu Gowon Centre donated the nets in conjunction with Jimmy Carter Centre

Source: TBE

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