The Anambra State Government recently commenced the mass campaign on the distribution of 3.8 million insecticide-treated nets across the 21 Local Government Areas of the State.
The distribution campaign organised by the state’s Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and Malaria Consortium Nigeria, was flagged off in Awka, by Gov. Charles Soludo.
The Governor said that the nets would improve the health of children and mothers by reducing malaria burden, morbidity and mortality across the state.
Gov. Soludo said the campaign for zero-malaria was to help residents understand the significance of the net intervention to prevent malaria deaths in the state.
He urged mothers, traditional and community leaders to help mobilise households during the distribution exercise in their communities.
“Since the resumption of our administration, we have been disilting drains across the state to ensure clean and healthier environment to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
“I want to urge residents to compliment government’s efforts by imbibing healthy living and environmental hygiene to reduce or kick-out malaria in Anambra.
“I that the state partners for their efforts in our state,” Soludo said.
Also speaking, Dr Kolawole Maxwell, West and Central Africa Programmes Director of Malaria Consortium, said the organisation secured funding of about 14 million dollars to procure and commence the distribution campaign of the nets.
Maxwell said the funds which were from international philanthropists, was in response to a cost effective malaria intervention in the state.
“In Anambra state, malaria interventions have not been funded by International partners for some time now. I think the last time malaria intervention was funded was in 2014.
“We secured funding of about 14 million dollars to procure and distribute highly cost effective piperonyl butoxide (PBO) insecticide treated nets to provided additional public health benefit over conventional treated nets.
“These PBO nets are more effective because mosquitoes that spread malaria are now developing resistance to the conventional type of insecticide nets, to overcome this resistance another chemical – piperonyl butoxide (PBO) was added to the net.
“We are taking the distribution to the door-step every household and we are using technologies to track communities where nets have been distribution and where they are yet to get the nets, ” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi, National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), said that Anambra was one of the seven states in the country to benefit from the malaria intervention programme.
Earlier in his address, Dr Afam Obidike, state’s Commissioner for Health lamented the low use of insecticide treated nets in the state.
“In Anambra we are still recording very low in the use of nets with 33 per cent compared to the NMEP recommendation of 53 per cent.
“The Soludo led-administration is investing heavily on healthcare by procuring modern equipment and recruiting more health workers to reduce disease incidence and malaria-related deaths in the state.
“I urge residents to constantly sleep under the net to avoid making themselves vulnerable to mosquitoes as well as visit our health facilities for malaria diagnosis and treatment,” the Commissioner said.
The key highlights of the occasion was the demonstration of how to use the nets, decoration of the wife of the Governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo as the Mosquito Net Ambassador in the state and the symbolic distribution of the nets to pregnant women.