By Oginyi Ruth
The Ebonyi State Government has tasked residents of the state to take the forthcoming distribution of 1,729,200 piperonyl butoxide (PBO) free treated mosquito nets in the state seriously.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike disclosed that the free distribution of the nets will take place at 765 designated points across the state beginning from November 9, 2019.
The campaign is with support from the United State of America (USAID) through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative who purchased the net for the state government.
Umezurike disclosed this during a media parley with journalists in Abakaliki, the state capital.
According to him, Malaria is a disease of public health importance and it affects 5-7m people annually and kills over three hundred to five hundred people per annum.
He said majority of the deaths occur in pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children under five years and this are the most important people in the country population hence the need for eliminate malaria.
Umezurike said the distribution campaign will be led by the State ministry of health through state Malaria Elimination Program with technical assistance from the implementation partners, Global Health Supply chain, and Breakthrough ACTION Nigeria ( BA-N).
“Malaria has remained a disease of public health importance, affecting five to seven million people annually and kills between 300 and 500 people with majority of deaths occurring in pregnant women and under five children.
“70 percent of deaths from malaria is mainly from the tropics, especially the West African sub region, and Nigeria in particular.” He said.
Mr. Godwin Aiedenagbon, Leader of the National Campaign Team, explained that the net distribution campaign is targeting the entire population not just children and pregnant women pointing that 97% of Nigerians are at risk of malaria.
Mr. Godwin said the nets can be washed for 20 times with toilet soup only not with detergent.
State malaria elimination program manager, Mr. Lawrence Nwankwo household is entitled to have a minimum of four nets.