Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Two donor agencies, the Society for Family Health (SFH) and Catholic Relief Services, have budgeted $18 million for the procurement and distribution of 4.7 million Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) across the 34 local government areas of Katsina State.
The programme, being implemented in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the Katsina State Ministry of Health, is expected to be executed between September and October.
Speaking on Monday, in Katsina, at a media enlightenment campaign for the programme, SFH Katsina State Focal Person, Aminu Murtala, said that the nationwide malaria eradication initiative started in 2009 with a total of over 77 million nets so far distributed across the 36 states.
He described the current distribution exercise as a move to replace the nets earlier given to beneficiaries in 2014, using the strategy of one net for every two persons in a household, subject to a maximum of four nets per household for universal coverage, in accordance with WHO recommendations.
According to Murtala, “Katsina State has malaria as the number one reason for health facility attendance (70 per cent out-patient attendance) and the number of diagnosed cases has increased considerably over the last year.
“It is responsible for death in children under five years and pregnant women and Katsina State has been selected as one of the four Global Fund supported states due for replacement campaign in 2018.
“One of the crucial activities designed to increase ownership and utilisation of the nets is the selection of a Net Ambassador who will be in the forefront of sensitising the people on the benefits of using LLIN and the Katsina State Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, has been nominated by the Governor to be the Net Ambassador for 2018 LLIN replacement campaign.”
Murtala also said that the media enlightenment programme was designed to among other objectives, enlist the media to join the national crusade for “malaria-free Nigeria” as well as well as improve the knowledge of reporters on malaria prevention and control strategies.