From Umar Dankano, Yola
Mass distribution of free mosquito nets to households has commenced in the 21 local government areas of North East Adamawa State.
Flagging-off the exercise in a ceremony in Yola, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said 13 million Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) would be distributed to six selected states including Adamawa where 2.5 million nets would be distributed.
Represented by Mr Audu Bala, the National Coordinator, Malaria Elimination Programme, the minister said the flag-off was a major leap in scaling up the fight against malaria in the state.
“Adamawa State is one in the series of mass replacement campaign aimed at delivery of over N13 million LLINs to beneficiaries in six selected states in the country this year with support from Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the United States Government through the USAID/PMI.
“Today’s flag-off ceremony signifies the highlights of a series of activities that will lead to the distribution of about 2.5 million nets to all communities in the 21 LGAs in Adamawa state,” he said.
Adewole noted that Nigeria has continued to record appreciable progress in malaria control and elimination efforts with indicator showing 27 per cent drooped from 42 per cent.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Fatima Atiku, who reiterated the state’s commitment to partner with stakeholders in containing malaria, urged beneficiaries to utilise the nets properly.
“We don’t want cases of people using it for catching fish or fencing their gardens,” Atiku said.
The Country Representative of Catholic Services (CRS) involved in the exercise, Ms Rebecca Bassey, said the historic event would result in the state meeting the WHO guidelines of one bed net for every two persons living in the state.
“CRS as co-principal recipient of the GF malaria grant recognises the enormity of this task of implementing such huge mass distribution campaign.. CRS is committed to ensuring a hitch-free and successful exercise in collaboration with NMEP and Adamawa state government,” Bassey said.