The Ondo State government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health says it will commence the distribution of over 3.3 million Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs), across the state by December 9, 2021.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharmacist Folakemi Aladenola made this known in Akure, on Tuesday
“We’ve started the mobilisation campaign and the distribution will be officially flagged off by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on the 8th of December and it will last for 12 days.
According to her, after the net campaign is flagged off, every household is entitled to a maximum of two free ITNs, depending on population size, urging residents to be available in their residences for the net.
“The last time we had this was in 2017. We all know what malaria has caused us. Am sure that hardly can we have any who hasn’t experience malaria disease. We need to save our children, pregnant women and everyone from malaria. In Ondo State, we are doing everything possible to ensure that we eliminate malaria from our communities.
“This campaign is to tell all residents of the state that the campaign is on and that the net is free. The state government in collaboration with malaria consortium and National Malaria Elimination Programme ( NMEP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, are collaborating to distribute the nets in Ondo State.”
The Demand Creation Advisor of Malaria Consortium Group, Dr Ehon Anthony said the critical elements needed to achieve positive change in fight against malaria was the change in behavioural and social norms with regards to sleeping inside treated mosquito nets.
Ehon warned against improper use of the ITNs, saying after collection, the net should be spread under the shade for 24 hours before use, and that if the net is dirty, it should be washed with mild soap about four to five times in a year and not more than 20 washes in three to four years.
“Sleeping inside the net guarantees sound sleep undisturbed by mosquitoes because the nets kill mosquitoes and serve as a barrier to prevent mosquito bites.
“It is easier and cheaper to hang and sleep inside the net than to treat malaria. You gain health and save money when you hang and sleep under your net. There is nowhere you cannot use the net, even if sleeping outside.”
Also, the representative of National Malaria Elimination Programme, Simon Suleh, said ITNs are very important in malaria prevention, as 97 per cent of the population of Nigeria still suffers from malaria and the country contributes 45 per cent to the world figure on malaria infections.