Ogun tackles malaria, distributes 2.6 million mosquito nets

By The Citizen

As part of the efforts to eradicate malaria, about 2.6million mosquito nets worth $5million are to be distributed to households in Ogun State.

The distribution of the nets to the households will be done under the Long Lasting Insecticide Nets programme of the National Malaria Elimination Programme and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, disclosed this during a news conference he jointly addressed with the officials of the Society for Family Health Nigeria.

Soyinka said that the LLINs, which would be a campaign for households in the state to replace their old mosquito nets would run between March 15 and 19, after an initial nine-day mobilization during which members of the community would be given net cards.

The commissioner noted that the replacement campaigns would ensure that the net is present in households and increase the effectiveness of the Behaviour Change Communication activities taking place.

Soyinka also said that Ogun and Sokoto states had been identified as the priority states for the LLINs replacement campaign.

He added that sleeping inside the LLINs consistently would reduce the incidence of malaria by about 50 per cent as it provided necessary protection against malaria-causing mosquitoes.

Soyinka also, 'Two strategies are used for the deployment of LLINs; the 'catch-up' campaigns and the 'keep up' routine distributions. The catch-up phase of LLIN distribution is aimed at rapidly scaling up ownership of the nets through mass LLIN campaigns for universal coverage, and the keep-up phase is to maintain the coverage attained during the catch-up through routine distribution of LLINs.

'The implementation of the catch-up strategy has involved house-to-house distribution of net cards, which entitles every household to at least two LLINs. This strategy delivered over 57.7million LLINs in the 36 states and the FCT between 2009 and 2013.'

The health commissioner stated that the mass distribution campaigns would complement and add value to local initiatives taking place at the state and local government area levels to promote malaria prevention.

Earlier, the SHF Director, Global Fund for Malaria, Dr. Earnest Nwokolo, expressed delight that the incidence of malaria infection in the country had been declining.

Nwokolo appealed to the media for a robust partnership in the quest to eradicate the disease.