BY: Abubakar Mohammed
In an efforts to eradicate malaria, the Adamawa State Government in collaboration with international partners have started mass distribution of free long lasting insecticidal nets across the 21 local government areas of the state.
Flagging-off the campaign exercise last Saturday, the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said 13 million Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) would be distributed to six selected states including Adamawa this year with support from Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the United States Government through the USAID/PMI.
According to him, 2.5 million nets would be distributed to all communities in the 21 LGAs in the state.
The Minister who was represented by the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Mr Audu Bala, said the flag off signifies a major leap in scaling up the fight against malaria in the state.
He noted that Nigeria has continued to record appreciable progress in malaria control and elimination efforts with indicator showing 27 per cent dropped from 42 per cent.
Despite this, malaria though preventable still remains a major public health problem in Nigeria and constitutes a major barrier to social and economic development, these socio-economic effects have remained top concerns of this administration, which has prompted the restructuring presently going on in the health sector with the sole aim of ensuring effective service delivery nationwide, the minister stated.
The Country Representative of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Mrs. Rebecca Bassey said the historic event would result in the state meeting the WHO guidelines of one bed net for every two persons living in the state.
CRS as co-principal recipient of the GF malaria grant recognises the enormity of this task of implementing such huge mass distribution campaigs. CRS is committed to ensuring a hitch-free and successful exercise in collaboration with NMEP and Adamawa State governments, Bassey said.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fatima Atiku reaffirmed the state governments commitment to partner with stakeholders in containing malaria.
She said malaria is a killer disease, while the nets are meant to protect people from contacting malaria from mosquito bites and urged beneficiaries to utilise the nets properly.
We dont want cases of people using it for catching fish or fencing their gardens, she conclude