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Delta engages 17,000 staff to distribute 3.5m mosquito nets to households

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Dr Mordi Ononye, the Delta Commissioner for Health, on Tuesday disclosed that over 3.5 million Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) would be distributed to households in the renewed campaign against malaria in the state.

The commissioner, represented by Dr Frances Onojeta, the state’s Malaria Programme Manager, disclosed this at a one-day Media Orientation on LLINs replacement campaign in Asaba.

The campaign is sponsored by the Federal and State Governments, Global Fund in partnership with the Society for Family Health and the Catholic Relief Services.

Recall that the nets were last distributed in the state in 2013.

Ononye said that the media training was part of the programmes lined up to ensure the campaign succeeds to ensure that the prevalence of the malaria scourge is brought to zero in the state.

He also said that over 17,000 ad hoc personnel would be engaged for effective distribution of the nets to every household in the state, even to the riverine communities.

According to him, the massive campaign for the distribution of the LLINs is in a bid to tackle malaria scourge by encouraging people to use the nets.

“Delta is among the 13 states in the country listed for this exercise and in this campaign, we will engage over 17,000 ad hoc staff for the distribution of over 3.5 million nets to every household in the state,’’ he said.

Mr Patrick Ukah, the state Commissioner for Information, represented by Mr Paul Osahor, Director in the ministry, lauded the training and tasked journalists to give the campaign required attention.

He said that government was committed to the stamping out of malaria, thus the current resolve to distribute the nets to residents.

According to Ukah, it calls for a concerted effort from all to fight the scourge.

“So, we must all embrace the use of the LLINs to combat the malaria disease if we must win the battle,’’ he said.

The resource persons, Mr Aminu Murtala, Mrs Hope Obokoh and Mr John Ochole said the current campaign provided for electronic means of registration of the households for total coverage.

They said that over 1,500 distribution points have been identified across the 25 local government areas of the state.

They said that modalities have been worked out to train and sensitise all stakeholders for the exercise which commenced April 28 and to end June 26, this year.

According to Murtala, only households who received the net cards and are captured for other details would receive the nets.

“The use of the LLINs is an important tool for malaria control and when properly implemented, will contribute remarkably to the overall reduction of malaria,’’ he said.

Obokoh noted that over 97 per cent of Nigerians suffer from malaria disease while over 110 million clinical diagnoses occur each year in the country.

According to her, over N480 billion is lost to malaria treatment yearly in the country which can be prevented by the use of LLINs.

“After this campaign, government expects that the people will have 100 per cent ownership and 80 per cent utilisation,’’ she said.

On his part, Ochole said that the essence of the current campaign was to create a social movement and social support from the media and all stakeholders to fight malaria.

“When we are done with Delta, we are moving to Niger, Kano and Kaduna States to campaign and distribute nets to them,” Ochole said.

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