PLSG to Distribute 2.5m Mosquito Nets in 2020
By Ralph Madugu
In line with global efforts towards the eradication of the malarial scourge, which causes 300, 000 deaths in Nigeria annually, the Plateau State Government, with support from the United States Government, is to do the mass distribution of 2.5 million treated mosquito nets to citizens.
This was announced at a media parley held in Jos as part of activities to commence the distribution campaign.
According to the Malaria Fact Sheet of the United States Embassy in Nigeria, the disease affects 3.3 billion people, or half of the world’s population, in 106 countries and territories.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 216 million cases of malaria were recorded in 2010 with 81 per cent occurring in Africa while 655,000 malaria deaths were recorded in 2010, 91 per cent in Africa.
Speaking at the parley, Executive Secretary, Plateau State Primary Health Care Board Dr. Livinus Miapkwap, who is also the State Chairman of the Net Distribution Campaign disclosed that the essence of the parley was to ensure transparency before, during and after the exercise.
While acknowledging the role of the media in society, he said: “It is someone who has something to hide that does not need the media,” and urged journalists to see themselves as partners in making Plateau state malaria-free.
Earlier in his welcome address, Plateau State Program Manager, State Malaria Elimination Program in the State Ministry, Pharmacist Chris Bewa, disclosed that the parley become necessary so as to give journalists a better understanding of the campaign as journalists would use their channels to give the campaign wider publicity.
He also noted: “The media is key and very important. We cannot succeed without the media.”
In his remarks, Director of Public Health in the Plateau State Ministry of Health, Gunen Lakdan, urged the media to publicize the campaign, adding that the health ministry had a goal that must be achieved.
The parley, which drew journalists from print, electronic and online media platforms, featured presentations on the objectives and processes of distribution, among other issues.
On the objectives of the parley, Farooq Muhammed Auwwal of the Breakthrough Action Nigeria, explained that it was geared towards re-orienting media practitioners on malaria prevention and control with special emphasis on long lasting insecticidal nets and motivate them to develop interest in the coverage of malaria prevention and control.
In a brief slide presentation on the campaign process, Kola Somuyiwa, who is head of the National Campaign Implementation team of the Global Health Supply Chain, disclosed that the campaign would involve mass campaigns in states, continuous distribution channels through public sector and civil society through free or subsidized means.
In another in a slide presentation on the role of the media in the campaign, State Health Educator, Plateau State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Jerisha Kwakwi, stated that the media was expected to provide intense publicity for the duration of the campaign and beyond.
She added that the media was also expected to continue promoting the use of long lasting insecticidal treated nets after the campaign as part of its social responsibility.
According to the objective of the campaign, the distribution would be carried out in 1003 distribution centres all over the state while the registration of households would commence from February 1-9 where households would be given net cards during the exercise. The distribution will start February 22-26, 2020.