The people of the State of Osun would benefit from the 2017 replacement exercise of the long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) to encourage owners to adequately utilise them as part of the efforts to totally eradicating malaria from the society.
The state is amongst the six states that would benefit from the replacement exercise Re-distribution programme of Global Fund in partnership with the FG have staged the programme would begin by September, 2017.
The Director of Public Health in the Osun State Ministry of Health, Dr. Gbenga Adepoju disclosed this during a media orientation programme organised for journalists to help spread awareness and importance of the malaria treated nets in Osogbo recently.
Dr. Adepoju who described malaria as a scourge stated that the project would benefit the state since the effectiveness of the mosquito nets wore off after three years.
He noted that since the exercise was last held in 2013, the state was due for another round of long lasting insecticidal nets distribution as replacements.
In order for the exercise to be successful, Dr. Adepoju also revealed that series of meetings have been held since March.
He said, “The team will be in the state till September and the exercise like the previous ones will be carried out on a house to house basis”.
The Public Health Director explained that the target for the year 2017 replacement of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) was about 3 million nets with a ratio of 1 mosquito net to two persons unlike the last exercise which was held in 2013 where 1.6 million LLIN were distributed.
“Global Fund with the Federal Government in partnership with Society for Family Health and Catholic Relief Services will distribute these nets, and N2 billion has been made available as funds”.
Meanwhile, the Malaria Control Programme Officer in the State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Morenike Adeyanju has revealed that as part of the exercise, the prevention of the misuse of the nets was the aim.
“We discovered from our last evaluation that the nets we distributed to people were used as fishing nets, window nets and also for other uses.
“This is not supposed to be so. The nets were provided and distributed to people freely but it did not come cheap.
“The LLIN is meant for people to sleep inside and not for any other purpose.
“The present government wants to promote healthy living among the people and that is why it is actively involved”, she added.
In the same vein, the representative of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Mrs. Adaolisa Ezechukwu added that the benefits of the LLIN included protection from mosquito bites, sound and undisturbed sleep, saving of money and life as a result of sleeping under the net.
Ezechukwu also corrected the misconceptions about the use of the nets and stated that after reception, the nets should be spread in a shade for 24 hours prior to use, while body contact should be avoided as much as possible.
The incorrect use of the nets according to her may lead to rashes and itchy skin, redness of the skin, redness of the eye which would wear away with time.
She explained that for proper care of the nets, it should be washed with mild soap in cold water and air under a shade to dry.
“The nets should be washed not more than 5 times in a year or 15 washes within 3 years since the insecticides on the net will wear away after 3 years”, she said.
She corroborated the earlier statement made by Dr. Adepoju but added that in the event that the nets were not adequate to meet the needs of some households members, there may be need to buy extra nets.
“LLINs are available in hospitals, pharmacies, chemists and markets”.
She also added that pregnant women attending antenatal care and children underage 5 completing immunisation may receive free nets from the government health facilities.