….State Govt., Partners Calls For Collection, Usage
The distribution of the 3.6 million Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) commenced yesterday across Local Governments in the State of Osun.
The ITNs will be distributed to households in the state between the 6th and 17th of July, 2023.
Speaking during the official flag-off of the net distribution held at the state secretariat, Abeere, on Wednesday, the State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke admonished residents of the state to see the collection and usage of the nets as a matter of necessity, urging them to make themselves available during the exercise.
Adeleke who was represented by his deputy, Prince Kola Adewusi, noted that malaria remains one of the foremost killers of children worldwide, adding that his administration was ready to deepen activities to reverse the trend.
The deputy governor who laid inside one of the nets to assure residents of their safety, promised the state support in completing its partners.
He said: “Malaria remains one of the foremost killers of children worldwide. Osun state under our watch is ready to deepen activities to reverse this trend.
“We, therefore, welcome every support towards malaria control in our State. We have the political will and commitment.
“We continue to judiciously utilize resources we receive and to complement them with resources of our own. Our team are committed professionals who are delivering on the mandate.
“Our efforts are yielding good results. Hence, malaria prevalence has constantly been on the decline. In Osun State, it was 33.4% in 2015. It dropped to 27.7 in 2018 and was 19.3 at the last estimation in 2021.
“We are reaching the grassroots where the bulk of our people are. Our plans are strongly preventive. Hence the net initiative has our full support.”
Earlier in the campaign team advocacy visit to the Governor on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Engineer Funsho Adebiyi, sought the assistance of the state government in co-financing the control of malaria in the state.
Adebiyi who was represented by Mr Chukwu Okworonko, stated that the state needed to provide 15 per cent of the total per cent fund support amounting to N266 million annually.
He noted that the number of malaria cases in Osun since 2014 was about 1.4 million, adding that 4.2 million estimated cases were averted in the state between 2009 and 2021.
He appealed to the state governor to ensure that residents of the state do not only collect the net but also ensure its proper usage.
He said: “The number of malaria cases in Osun since 2014 is about 1.4 million. That means about 162 cases occurred every hour in the state, particularly malaria.
“In Osun state, an estimated 4.2 million cases have been averted between 2009 and 2021. That is something to cheer about. Also in the state, prevalence has decreased from 33 per cent.
“We need your support. We requested that there should be a co-financing from the state government and that co-financing is about 15 per cent of the total grant money including the cost of these activities and that co-financing came to about N788 million only which is about N266 million on an annual basis.”
The Net Ambassador for the state, Chief Mrs Titilola Adeleke, promised to mobilize all the Net Advocates in the Local Government Areas who will in turn mobilise the people at the grassroots to collect the nets.
“I am delighted to stand in your midst as the Net Ambassador for Osun State. As the Net Ambassador, I promise to use different channels and resources to disseminate messages on the use of the insecticide mosquito nets to ensure that families protect themselves from mosquito bites by sleeping inside the nets every night.
“I will also mobilize all the Net Advocates of the Local Government Areas who will, in turn, mobilise the people at the grassroots so that the percentage of net utilisation in Osun State comes highest in the country.
“I urge you the people of Osun State to make yourselves available at home, provide correct information to the mobilizers and distributors, be registered and given nets,” she stated.
The campaign manager for the distribution, John Ocholi, urged the beneficiaries to air the under shade for 24 hours before using, adding that the nets were safe and effective to protect all members of the family from mosquito bites which transmit the parasite that causes malaria.
In their separate remarks, Dr Emma Obi of Catholic Relief Services and Dr Anthony Nwala Assistant Chief Programme Quality Officer Society for Family Health called on residents to ensure they use the insecticide treated nets after collection, saying its health benefits cannot be underestimated.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Isiaka Adekunle, while appreciating the team said all hands must be on deck to get rid of malaria in the state.
Speaking with the medium, one of the beneficiaries in Iwo, State of Osun, on Thursday, Alhaja Ganiyu Lateefat, appreciated the donor for their gesture, promising to make proper use of the nets.
She said: “I want to appreciate our Governor and the people who gave me and my family these nets. We are going to make proper use of them by following the instructions given to us.”
A resident of Kuta in the Ayedire Local Government of the State, Sodiq Adebanjo noted that he was also a beneficiary during the last exercise, adding that he has not been treated for malaria since he started sleeping inside the mosquito net.
“I also got a next during the last distribution and I can boldly say I haven’t been treated for malaria since I started sleeping inside the net.
“I know some people believe the nets are not safe due to some chemicals used but that is not true. I’ve been using the net for the past three years without any problems. We just have to follow the instructions,” he noted.