James Sowole in Akure
About three million Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLITNs) will be distributed free to families in communities of Ondo State between October 28 and 2nd November 2017.
The distribution is in fulfillment of the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the use of LLINs is one of the most effective ways of preventing malaria.
Already, a campaign team of health workers drawn from the Federal Ministry of Health, Ondo State Ministry of Health and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) had arrived the state to kick off the exercise with household mobilisation from October 7 to 15, 2017.
Mrs. Nneka Ndubuisi from the Catholic Relief Services, disclosed the plan for the distribution at a media sensitisation programme on the exercise and which had participants from media organisations in and outside the state.
She said each household would get a maximum of four nets during the exercise saying the census of households would be done before the distribution.
According to Ndubusi, malaria which is the most common preventable health problem takes a lethal toll of 97 per cent of Nigerians especially children under five years of age and pregnant women.
She said apart from the huge social and economic burden to our communities and country, billions of naira are lost to malaria annually in form of treatment, prevention and loss of man hours.
She stressed that WHO has said that the best way for scaling-up malaria prevention is the use of the LLINs.
During the campaign period, she said household mobilisers will visit each household, register them and issue net cards adding that a net will be given to two persons and maximum of four nets to a household.
The team solicited the support of the media for a successful outing saying although malaria is one of the leading public health problems; it gets under reported in the media.
They also called on community leaders in the state as well as members of the public to assist and support the campaign to save lives of the people.
However, they listed some of the benefits of sleeping inside the nets as prevention from mosquito bites and spread of malaria, sound and undisturbed sleep and saving of lives, money and stress. The nets according to the team would last for three years if used properly.