By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government says it will distribute 14.4 million Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) in four selected malaria most endemic states across the country before the end of this year.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this on Saturday at the inauguration of the LLINs replacement campaign in Dutse.
Adewole listed the benefitting states as Ogun, Jigawa, Gombe and Katsina. The minister was represented by the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kudu, Jigawa, Prof. Idris Suleiman.
He explained that the nets would be distributed with the support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
The minister said that 3.7 million nets would be distributed to all communities in the 27 local government areas of in Jigawa.
“It gives me great pleasure to be present at this important ceremony to flag off the replacement campaign for the distribution of LLINs in Jigawa. “This year alone, approximately 14.4 million LLINs would be distributed in four states with support from GFATM.
“I am glad to inform you that Jigawa state is one of the beneficiaries and a total of 3.7 million nets would be distributed to all communities in the 27 local government areas,’’ the minister said.
According to him, the federal government has adopted LLINs replacement campaign as one of the key strategies for the prevention and elimination of malaria in the country.
Adewole further stated that the federal government has adopted the use of electronic technology for a better and more efficient LLINs campaign process this year.
“We foresee a future where programme data will be viewed as real-time and decision making would become quicker and more effective,’’ he noted.
He said that there had been series of collaborations among the Jigawa Government, malaria partnership in the state and the Federal Ministry of Health before the commencement of the exercise.
The minister said the teamwork was to ensure appropriate and adequate planning for a successful LLINs replacement campaign in the state.
The minister recalled that in 2015, the federal ministry of health in collaboration with the National Population Commission and with support from the Malaria Partnership organised a Malaria Indicator Survey.
He disclosed that the result showed that 69 per cent of households in Nigeria had at least one insecticidal net. “The result of the survey further revealed that 95 per cent of households in Jigawa had at least one insecticidal net.
“Similarly, 55.7 per cent of households had at least one net for every two persons. “It is my joy therefore that with the distribution of over 3.7 million insecticidal nets, net coverage in the state will increase tremendously,’’ the minister added.
Adewole, therefore, called on Jigawa Government to take ownership of the campaign process to ensure its sustainability.
He also urged traditional rulers and religious leaders to support, not just the campaign, but the net hanging activities in their respective domains to ensure a sustainable ‘net culture’ in the state.
The deputy governor pledged the state government support towards the success of the programme aimed at malaria prevention. Hassan called on the beneficiaries to make use of the nets as a preventive measure against malaria.