PMI,Ebonyi Malaria Partners Set To Distribute Over 2 million Insecticide Treated Nets in Ebonyi

Source: Oswald Agwu, Abakaliki.

A total of Two million and eighty six thousand, six hundred and eighty-three Insecticide Treated Nets have been programmed for distribution to households in Ebonyi State for malaria prevention.

Distribution of the nets, courtesy of the United States Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI), in partnership with Ebonyi State government and other malaria partners, would commence January 27, 2023 across the 13 Local government areas of the State.

The government in collaboration with the USAID-Breakthrough Action, Nigeria and the other malaria partners have since intensified awareness campaigns aimed at creating demand for the nets across the State.

Addressing journalists in a media Parley, Tuesday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, preparatory to the activity, Godson Kingsley of the PMI, said the net distribution was a periodic activity aimed at steming fatalities caused by Malaria in the State.

According to Kingsley, Reports has it that over 3 million estimated cases of malaria occur annually in Nigeria. while two out of 4 persons are having malaria in the West African Sub-region including Nigeria.

He further stated that one out of 5 deaths from malaria globally, occur in Nigeria while under five malaria prevalence in Ebonyi State is 30 percent.

Kingsley further explained: "Malaria is a life-threatening disease transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

"Nigeria account for nearly 110 million clinically diagnosed cases of malaria per year, and an estimated 30 percent of child and 11 percent of maternal deaths each year are due to malaria.

"It is the commonest cause of absenteeism from schools, offices, farms, markets, etc resulting in lower productivity.

"Malaria exerts a huge social and economic burden on our communities and country.

"Billions of naira are lost to malaria annually for various form of treatment costs and prevention.

"It continues to lead to huge loss in man-hour."
Kingsley however, observed that malaria prevalence in Nigeria, according to available reports, reduced from 27 percent in 2015 to 23 percent in 2018. He attributed the decline to increased awareness, and the gradually rising compliance to preventive behaviors.

The State Programme Officer on malaria, Lawrence Nwankwo, in a remark, explained that that digital technology would be deployed in three out of the 13 LGAs of the state to mobilize households for the net distribution which would commence from the 27th of January, 2023.

Nwankwo encouraged households to make themselves available to collect net cards to be exchanged with the nets during distribution, adding that registration for the net cards would soon commence across the State.

He stressed that the essence of the parley was to inform the media of the ITN campaign in Nigeria generally, and Ebonyi State in particular.

"We want the media to be used to support the campaign" Nwankwo emphasized.