Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the global fight against malaria, which medical experts say is the number one killer in sub-Saharan Africa.
At the official start of door-to-door distribution of 2.3 million free medicines treated with insecticides Mosquito nets (ITNs) that the state received from Global Funds for paying relevant counterpart funds, the governor said more than 50 percent of health complications reported in public hospitals are due to poorly treated malaria-related cases.
The governor, who said over 5,000 citizens had been trained and engaged in the door-to-door distribution model through the 16 LGAs, added that the beneficiaries’s engagement would have immense economic benefits.
“Just over a year ago, we invested millions of naira in payment of counterpart funds to obtain keys to various basic health programs. N 82 million of this amount was earmarked for the Anti-Malaria Initiative of the Global Fund. In return, we will receive 2.3 million insecticide-treated nets worth over 3.3 billion N, along with other socio-economic benefits, ”he said.
“Today we are stopping these networks from being distributed from house to house in our state. We have hired at least 5,000 people to do this.
“Malaria is one of the main culprits in sub-Saharan Africa. It has also proven to be detrimental to the economy. That is why we are so keen to fight it. However, it is cheaper to prevent malaria than to cure it. A major way to prevent killer disease is through the use of insecticide treated nets. It is safe to use and I urge our people to use it. “
AbdulRazaq also praised all partners, volunteers and network lawyers, especially former Minister of State for Health Hajia Amina Ndalolo, for their efforts in the campaign.
The governor later handed over units of the ITNs to some families before sleeping in a demo bed with mosquito nets at the event – a symbolic gesture to demonstrate the safety of the ITN and encourage citizens to use it.
Health Minister Dr. For his part, Osagie Ehanire said Nigeria has continued to make significant progress in malaria control and eradication, as the malaria infection rate in Kwara state is currently 20 percent.
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“Kwara State is one of three states selected to benefit from Mass Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) Distribution Campaigns in 2020, which aim to deliver ITN 2.3 million to beneficiaries with the support of the Global Fund deliver. In addition, two LGAs (Asa and Moro) are used simultaneously to carry out the evaluation of the New Net Project, which monitors the impact of the new generation ITNs on malaria indicators, ”he praised the governor’s political support.
The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Engr. Yakubu Danladi Salihu said paying counterpart funds and other investments has changed the way the state is represented in the health sector.
Former Minister of State for Health and Kwara Network Ambassador Hajia Amina Ndalolo encouraged all female political representatives of the state to promote the use of ITNs so that the state can achieve the result of its investments in the health sector.
Kwara Health Commissioner Dr. Raji Rasaq said the commitment of over 5,000 citizens to the door-to-door distribution model through the 16 LGAs will be of immense economic benefit.
“Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s continued injection of funds into the health sector to promote the provision of health services to the population is unmatched in the history of the state,” he added, reporting on unprecedented government efforts in the sector.
In their goodwill messages, Ernest Nwokolo from the Society for Family Health, Diwe Ekweremadu from Catholic Relief Services and Abdullahi Nageri, State Elimination Program manager, praised the state government for the partnership, which they believed had produced positive results.
They called on the governor to continue the campaign to eradicate malaria in Kwara state.