The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdullaziz Mashi- Abdullahi has called on Kaduna State government to take ownership of mosquito net campaign to ensure sustainability.
Abdullahi made the call at the State Flag off for long lasting insecticidal nets replacement campaign in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria.
He said the Country has continued to witness appreciable progress in Malaria control and elimination efforts.
“In 2015, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the National Population Commission and support from the Malaria partnership organised a Malaria indicator survey. The result showed that 69 per cent of households had at least one insecticidal nets and decreased cases of Malaria to 27 percent from 42 percent in 2010.
Despite this, Malaria though preventable, still remains a major public health problem in the Country and constitutes a major barrier to socio- economic development which remains a top concern to this administration and has prompted the restructuring within the health sector with the sole aim of ensuring effective service delivery Nationwide”.
Abdullahi therefore called on Traditional and Religious leaders to support not just the campaign but the net hanging activities in communities to ensure a sustainable net culture in the State.
He urged the numerous beneficiaries of the nets to continue to sleep inside their nets every night to protect them and members of thier families against Malaria.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Health will continue to work with partners to ensure they win war for a Malaria free Nigeria in line with the President’s change mantra.
“I have no doubt we are on course and must sustain the gains achieved so far by improving on them. Remember, we cannot claim to have won this battle against Malaria until we have zero Malaria cases in our communities”, he stressed.
Earlier in his speech, the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination program, Dr Audu Bala- Mohammed called on residents to imbibe the culture of keeping the environment clean to reduce the breeding sites of mosquitoes.
“Remember, Malaria kills and 97 percent of Nigerians are at risk especially children under five and pregnant women but Malaria is preventable with the use of long lasting insecticidal nets.
It is pertinent to reiterate that the use of long lasting insecticidal nets alone cannot eliminate Malaria anywhere. We must imbibe the culture of keeping our environment clean to reduce the breeding sites of mosquitoes. All water collecting or retaining materials should be cleared from around the homes, gutters should always be kept clean and free flowing, tall grasses must be cleared,” Mohamed explained.
He advised persons with netcards to ensure they collect the nets in line with procedure for the campaign because failure to do so will be a huge loss of opportunity to keep away from Malaria.
He urged beneficiaries to adhere to the recommendation that the nets must be aired under a shade for 24hours before usage.