By Stephen Adeleye
Two million and two hundred thousand Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs are to be shared to Kogi communities in the campaign to eliminate malaria in the state.
Mr Godwin Aidemagbon, Team Lead, National Campaign Immunisation Team/Presidential Malaria Initiative, said at the inauguration of LLIN Coordinating Campaign Network (LCCN), on Tuesday in Lokoja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the nets were provided by the USAID, in collaboration with the Presidential Malaria Initiative, Federal Ministry of Health and the Kogi State Government.
“We are here for the distribution of 2.2 million long lasting insecticidal nets to the people of Kogi State and I am glad to inform you that all the nets are already on ground in Lokoja,” the official said.
He said that the campaign processes involved three stages – macro planning, micro planning and implementation – adding that the first two had been completed.
“We are commencing the implementation stage which is the third and final stage of the campaign.
“We shall commence a household mobilization with the issuance of netcards, which will entitle a potential beneficiary to receive a net,” he said.
According to him, in 2013, the initiative distributed two nets per household, but this time around, a net would be given to every two persons to meet the ‘Universal Coverage’ as prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The State’s Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has agreed to flag-off the distribution of the nets on April 20; the U.S. Ambassador and Mission Director of USAID will also be in attendance at the occasion,” Aidemagbon said.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, in his remarks, said that the event would mark another turning point in the efforts to eliminate malaria from Kogi.
“Malaria constitutes a huge epidemiology burden to Nigeria; Kogi State is surrounded by rivers making it a breeding site for mosquitoes.
“In the light of the above, and in an effort to control the scourge, long lasting insecticidal net mass campaign was carried out in April 2013; during that campaign, nets ownership rose from 4 to 64 per cent as two nets were distributed per household,” he said.
He said this year, Kogi was due for a replacement campaign, which would be flagged off on April 20, to help increase net ownership to 100 per cent. (NAN)