Govt to distribute 41m treated nets in 2014, says Chukwu

By The Citizen

The Federal Government on Monday said it would distribute 41 million insecticides-treated nets in 16 states in 2014.

The Minister of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, said this in Bodinga, headquarters of Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

The minister was represented by the Director, Public Health in the ministry, Dr Abdu Bala, during the launching of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets campaign.

He said the launching signified the series of activities that had resulted in the distribution of more than 2.5 million nets to all communities in the 23 local councils of Sokoto State.

Chukwu said 57.7 million nets had been distributed in the last four years across Nigeria, representing 82 per cent of the national overall coverage target.

He said the coverage represented a huge success in the collective efforts to scale up the intervention.

Gov. Aliyu Wamakko said his administration had constructed primary health care centres in each of the 244 wards and new general hospitals in all the councils.

He listed others to include an Orthopaedic hospital in Wamakko, headquarter of Wamakko Local Government and Murtala General Hospital in Sokoto.

'All these efforts are part of our commitment to provide effective healthcare to the people of the state.

'We are also fully committed to the malaria burden, which has become a major health challenge in Nigeria,' Wamakko said.

The governor called on the people to ensure proper personal and environmental hygiene, as an antidote to malaria and its menace.

The Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, lamented that malaria constituted more than 67 per cent of the yearly hospital admissions nationwide.

'It also constitutes 25 per cent of infant mortality, 30 per cent childhood mortality and associated with 11 maternal deaths,' Aliyu added.

He acknowledged that the trend was a major concern to the people and government of the state and appealed for all hands to be on deck to fight the menace.

Dr Abubakar Maishanu, who spoke on behalf of donor agencies, urged them to make good use of the nets.

He said the nets would remain like any other piece of cloth if they were kept in the box and not used.

'It will, however, be turned into a powerful tool to fight malaria if they are hung and used regularly,' he said.