..Flags off distribution of 2.3m treated nets
William Attah, Gombe
Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya has declared that the State Government will continue to work through relevant agencies in the State to ensure malaria burden is reduced and eventually eliminated.
He made the declaration at the flag-off of distribution of free Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SPAQ) for Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in Gombe State.
The State Government in partnership with the Global Fund will officially be engaged in the two campaigns that will signal the commencement of distribution of over 2.3 million nets to the people of the State on a door-to-door basis.
It will also use same approach to administer SPAQ for seasonal malaria chemoprevention to 796,988 children per month for a period of four (4) months across all the 11 Local Government Areas of the State.
In order to achieve this according to the Governor, Government has approved the use of over 580 health facilities, deployed over 2000 health workers and provided all the requisite financial and operational support to ensure the successful implementation of the malaria intervention campaign
To this end, Governor Inuwa Yahaya, tasked the State Ministry of Health, State Primary Health Care Development Agency and State Malaria Elimination Programme to be on top of their activities for the success of the programme.
According to Governor Yahaya, malaria has continued to be a major Public Health hazard globally, particularly in Africa.
He said, the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2018) indicated that malaria is known to be one of the leading causes of the deaths, particularly among children under 5 years and pregnant women thereby making the disease to overburden public health system and exerting severe social and economic burden on the nation.
While noting the decline in the number of malaria related deaths in Nigeria (which now accounts for 2 out of 10 deaths in Children under 5 years), he said this was made possible by the collective efforts of all the partners.
“The use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and the administration of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) medicines have been proven to be among the most durable and cost-effective malaria preventive interventions”, he stated.
Earlier, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said Gombe State is one among the first set where ITN assessment campaign will be carried out in 2021 which will see the distribution of over 2.3 million nets in Gombe State.
Represented by Pharmacist Talatu Kassim Yahaya, the Minister said the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Elimination Programme, has since adopted the use of ITNs and SMC medicines as medication for eligible children as one of the key strategies for the prevention of malaria in the country.
The National coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr. Perpetual Ohomoighi, represented by the Programme Manager Global Fund, Dr. Issa Kawu commended the Gombe State Government for displaying capacity in the effective management and implementation of the Global Fund grant geared towards fighting malaria in the State.