FG urges leaders to encourage use of mosquito nets

By Suru Charles

An appeal from the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has gone to traditional and religious leaders spread across Taraba state and the country at large to assist in encouraging people in their communities on the need to always sleep inside mosquito nets “every night.”

The appeal, as observed by The Trumpet, came yesterday while flagging off the 2022 distribution of free Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) in the state.

Represented by the Chief Medical Director(CMD) of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jalingo, Dr Aisha Adamu, also appealed to the media practitioners to support the process by disseminating information that would encourage the public to sleep inside the nets.

Journalists, according to him, should support the process “by disseminating malaria messages to every nook and cranny of the state, especially the information on hanging and sleeping inside the nets, the intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women and the utilization of other health interventions for malaria prevention.”

The Minister, who affirmed that the country is still resolute in its quest for “a malaria-free Nigeria,” said such dreams necessitated the implementation of “ITN mass campaigns in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.”

Reeling out the states that benefited from the 2022 intervention, the use of ITNs, as made known by him, “has been one of the key strategies adopted for the prevention and elimination of malaria in the country by the federal government.”

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The benefitting states, as enumerated by him, are Taraba, Delta, Niger, Yobe, Kaduna, Kano and Anambra.

Over two million ITNs, according to him, will be distributed with support from the Global Fund, through Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as implementing partner “in this 2022 ITN mass campaign.”

On his part, the State Governor Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, who spoke through the Commissioner of Health, Dr Innocent Vakkai, reiterated his administration’s commitments toward working round the clocks to eliminate malaria in the state.

Also aligning her weight to that of the governor, the first lady of the state, Barrister Anna Darius, who our chief noticed to have been decorated as Net Ambassador, pledged to be a role model for the “correct and consistent use of ITNs.”

She also vowed to build support for the campaign at the state and the local government level, adding that “beyond the campaign exercise, I will strive to mobilize support in providing an enabling environment for other malaria programmes to be implemented.”

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