Malaria: Bauchi, partners set to distribute 4.4 million free nets to residents
Bauchi State Government in collaboration with United States Government President Malaria Initiative (PMI-US) and Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) has concluded plan to distribute 4.4 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) to residents in the state this year.
Chairman of BACATMA, Dr Sani Mohammed Dambam, disclosed this on Thursday during a media parley on ITNs Distribution Campaign in the State, disclosing.that the distribution of the free nets will commence from June 21 to June 27, 2023.
Dambam said the distribution campaign is to reduce the burden of malaria in the state by ensuring that Insecticide Treated Net (ITNs) were issued to every household in Bauchi State.
“Before these nets will be distributed, registration of households must be conducted. This is referred to as household mobilization and includes persons wearing uniforms with malaria logo who will visit the households from 27th May-4 June 2023 to register and issue net cards that will entitle each household for a free net,” he said.
“Distribution of the free nets will commence from June 21 to June 27, 2023. A representative of each household is expected to go to the distribution point written on their nets cards to collect free nets. Once collected, air the new nets for 24 hours in the shade before hanging. Once hung, beneficiaries should sleep inside with the nets well-tucked over the sleeping area every night all year round.”
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Dambam appealed for more support from partners, especially the media to make the ITNs Distribution Campaign in the state for the success of the planned distribution campaign for the benefit of residents.
He said although the distribution exercise is not new in the state, the campaign for this year would be the largest ever as 4.4 Millon nets would be distributed to an estimated eight 8 people in the State.
“This round of ITNs Distribution Campaign is going to be technology-driven and we all know that Technology comes with its advantages And disadvantages so we need to educate the people and remind them on the need to consolidate on the past successes,” he said.
“In the past it was paper based and manual but this round technology would be deployed in the distribution campaign’
The BACATMA Chairman welcome the media practitioners and international partners to the media parley,. saying that the media has been central to the successes recorded by the agency since its inception.
He expressed appreciation to the media, Civil Society Organisations (CBOs) and other partners and pleaded for more to.make the state government through the agency to address the burden of malaria.
Other stakeholders and experts who spoke during the parley noted that Malaria is a life-threatening disease transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes
Nigeria accounts for over 66 million malaria cases annually (World malaria report 2022), and an estimated 30% of child and 11% of maternal deaths each year are due to malaria. According to the 2021 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey (NMIS 2021), there was a reduction in malaria prevalence in Nigeria from 27% in 2015 (MIS 2015) to 22% in 2021 (NMIS 2021).
The current prevalence of malaria in Bauchi State is 32% (NMIS 2021). Malaria remains the commonest cause of absenteeism from schools, offices, farms, markets, etc resulting in lower productivity. It exerts a huge social and economic burden on our communities and country, billions of Naira are lost to malaria annually in form of treatment cost. prevention, and loss of man hours.