Osun State distributes over two million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets for malaria control
Osogbo, 08 September 2017-To protect over four million people living in Osun, South-west Nigeria, Global Fund through Society for Family Health, in collaboration with Federal Ministries of Health and World Health Organization (WHO), has commenced distribution of more than two million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) to all local populations at risk in the state.
The WHO Global Malaria Programme recommends three major interventions for all malaria-endemic countries to include diagnosis of malaria cases and treatment with effective medicines; distribution of LLINs to achieve full coverage of populations at risk of malaria; and indoor residual spraying (IRS) as a major means of malaria vector control to reduce and eliminate malaria transmission.
Nigeria’s Southwestern region is endemic for malaria, with continuous transmission throughout the year. The zone lies within the tropical rain forest ecological topography, which favours intense transmission of malaria.
The distribution will take place simultaneously in the 30 LGAs of the state (6-10 September 2017) through the redemption of previously distributed net cards. To meet the target, WHO Nigeria Country Office (WCO) is providing technical support for the distribution of 2.7 Million LLINs for the residents of Osun state.
Flagging-off the distribution process in Osogbo, on 6 September 2017, the Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi-Laoye Tomori who is also the net ambassador for Osun state, applauded the Global Fund and the malaria partnership for the donation of the nets. She promised that the state government, through relevant ministries, departments and agencies would monitor and supervise the appropriate distribution as well as utilization by the residents.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, National Professional Officer (NPO) for Malaria in south-west Nigeria, Dr Tolu Arowolo reiterated the unflinching support and commitment of WHO to the pre-elimination goal of the National Malaria Elimination Programme. She noted that despite remarkable decline in the national and global incidence of cases and deaths, malaria is still responsible for an estimated 429,000 deaths in 2016 with Nigeria accounting for about 25% of the total global burden.
“In Osun state, LLIN campaign was initially conducted in 2013 to all household. According to WHO guidelines, the nets are due for replacement after 3 years of use and hence the replacement campaign being implemented now", Dr Arowolo stated.
She encouraged all stakeholders to promote the utilization of the nets, which has proven to be very effective in reducing malaria infection and averting deaths. The NPO further reiterated the need to teach the beneficiaries on how to prolong the durability of the lifesaving commodities.