As part of the strategy to eradicate malaria in Kwara State, the Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has launched a house-to-house distribution of Insecticide-Treated Nets ( ITNs) to prevent citizens from contracting the disease.
AbdulRazaq said that 2.3 million households were expected to receive the treated mosquito nets, designed as a major remedy to prevent citizens from contracting the disease considered by experts as a major killer in sub-Saharan Africa.
The governor, on Thursday, added that the decision was embarked upon after expects findings showed that more than 50 percent of health complications reported across public hospitals were as a result of poorly treated malaria-related cases.
At the launch of the nets received from Global Funds as a result of its payment of relevant counterpart funds, he said his administration has paid huge counterpart funds to key into various initiatives that would afford residents access to basic healthcare, including the free malaria programme recently launched.
“A little over one year ago, we invested millions of naira in paying counterpart funds to key into various basic healthcare programmes. N82m of that amount was meant for the anti-malaria initiative of the Global Fund. What we have in return is 2.3million insecticide-treated nets worth over N3.3bn, among other socio-economic benefits.
“Today, we are flagging off the house-to-house distribution of these nets across our state. To do this, we have engaged at least 5,000 persons who will get paid for doing so.
“Malaria is a major killer disease in sub-Saharan Africa. It has also proven to have adverse economic effects. This is why we are so interested in fighting it. However, it is cheaper to prevent malaria than to cure it. One major way of preventing the killer disease is the use of insecticide-treated nets. It is safe for use and I urge our people to use it,” the governor added.
AbdulRazaq, at the event held in Ilorin, the state capital, commended all partners, volunteers, and net advocates, especially the former Minister of State for Health Hajia Amina Ndalolo for their efforts in the campaign.
Earlier, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that Nigeria has continued to witness appreciable progress in malaria control and elimination efforts as the rate of malaria infection now stand at 20 percent in Kwara State.
“Kwara State is one of the three states selected to benefit from the 2020 mass insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) distribution campaigns aimed at delivery of 2.3 million ITNs to beneficiaries with the support of Global Fund. Furthermore, two LGAs (Asa and Moro) will simultaneously be used to carry out the New Net Project evaluation that will involve monitoring the impact of the new generation ITNs on malaria indicators,” he added.
Former Minister of State for Health and Kwara Net Ambassador, Amina Ndalolo, encouraged all-female political appointees in the state to promote the use of ITNs to enable the state to achieve the result of its investment in the health sector.
Kwara State Commissioner for health, Dr. Raji Rasaq, disclosed that over 5000 citizens have been engaged for the house-to-house distribution model across the 16 councils.
“Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s sustained injection of fund into the health sector to drive the provision of health care needs to the populace is one without a match in the history of the state,” he added, reeling out details of unprecedented efforts of the administration in the sector.