3.7m anti-mosquito LLIN nets for distribution in Delta State; campaign indicates govt’s seriousness to tackle malarial scourge, says Ukah

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By Chukwudi Abiandu

A total of 3.7million anti-mosquito Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN)  are to be distributed across Delta state as part of the campaign to control the spread of malaria and eventually eradicate it in Nigeria.

This was made known to journalists at a seminar to acquaint journalists about the LLIN replacement distribution campaign that will involve the use of the CAT strategy, the use of mobile phones soft ware and associates peripherals.

At the seminar that was organized by Society for Family Health, Nigeria, the Commissioner for Information, Chief Patrick Ukah, who was represented by the Ministry’s functioning Permanent Secretary, Mr. Paul Osahor said the seminar was an indication that the state government is serious in the bid to tackle the scourge of malaria. “This is why the state government has deemed it necessary to distribute the insecticide treated nets,” he said, pointing out that the task to tackle the malaria scourge is the function of all stakeholders.

According to the seminar teachers, the campaign will involve over 17,000 persons to be engaged for the distribution programme.

On the malaria situation in Nigeria, the following facts were made known, that:

  • Malaria is the most common preventable public health problem in Nigeria yet it takes a lethal toll of 97% of Nigerians especially children under five years of age and pregnant women.
  • Nigeria accounts for a quarter of malaria burden in Africa
  • The 2015 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey indicates 27% prevalence AS AGAINST 42% IN 2010
  • Evidence has shown that Nigeria accounts for nearly 110million clinically diagnosed cases per year, and an estimated 30% of child and 11% of maternal deaths each year are due to malaria.
  • It is the commonest cause of absenteeism from schools, offices, farms, markets, etc resulting to lower productivity
  • In addition to the direct health also it exerts a huge social and economic burden on our communities and country, Billions of Naira are lost to malaria annually in form of treatment cost, prevention and loss of man hours. N480 billion lost annually due to malaria absenteeism & treatment costs.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the best opportunity for scaling-up malaria prevention is the use of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs). These nets are designed to maintain utmost biological efficacy against mosquitoes for three years, particularly where they are used under recommended conditions.

Highlighting the benefits of sleeping inside a Net, it was disclosed that:

  • Sleeping inside the net protects you from mosquito that spread malaria
  • Sleeping inside the net ensures sound and undisturbed sleep
  • It is easier/cheaper to hang the net than to treat malaria
  • You gain health, save life and save money when you hang and sleep inside the net.

On how do I use my nets correctly the officials urged the people to:

  • Air the LLIN under the shade (not under the SUN) for one day (24 hours) before USE.
  • Hang the nets up over your sleeping material which could be a mat or mattress or bed, etc.
  • Tuck in the edges of the nets under the mat or mattress ensuring that no space could permit entrance of mosquitoes.
  • Repeat this tucking in anytime you happen to leave your sleeping area
  • Lie inside the net in your sleeping area and enjoy your sleep free of mosquito bites and/or disturbance
  • Do not use the net as a cover cloth or as a wrapper/blanket
  • Roll the net up in the morning to prevent tearing and damage

Can anything happen if I do not use my net correctly?

  • Many people have complained of:
  • Skin itching and rashes
  • Redness of skin
  • Redness of eye

But the discomfort is temporary and will clear within a short time (few hours/days)

It feels hot when I sleep under the net. What do I do?

  • Keep your windows open for fresh air to reduce heat and Dress lightly
  • Feeling of discomfort will reduce as you continue to use the net
  • Remember to use your net even if you sleep outside

My net has an unpleasant smell. What do I do

Where can I get a net?

  • During the LLIN campaign, the LLINs are giving out free on the basis of 1 net to every 2 persons in a household
  • If the free nets are not adequate to meet the needs of your household members, you may need to buy extra nets
  • LLINs are available in hospitals, pharmacies, PMVs, chemists and markets
  • Pregnant women attending ANC and children under 5 completing immunization may receive free nets from the Government health facilities
  • Nets are affordable and cheaper than costs of treating malaria. Protect yourself from mosquito bites and save hospital cost.

The distribution campaign which began on April 20, 2019 will end on June 16, 2019. The state flag-off will be on June 7, 2019, local governments will do their flag-off on June 8, 2019.

There will be a net card to be presented to the people which will be scanned and noted in the data base to prevent multiple collection by unscrupulous persons.

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