“Malaria is also preventable through the consistent and correct use of insecticide-treated nets made available to the citizens of the state.”
The Jigawa government, in partnership with the Malaria Consortium, has begun distributing 3.7 million insecticide-treated nets to vulnerable households in the state.
Governor Muhammad Badaru, stated this during the opening of the 12-day distribution exercise on Wednesday in the village of Madobi in the Dutse parish of the state.
Mr Badaru, represented by Vice-President Umar Namadi, said malaria could be prevented and cured through a concerted effort to reduce the burden.
“Malaria is responsible for around 11 percent of maternal and 30 percent of child mortality, especially among children under five.
“So the goal is to ensure 100 percent coverage of network distribution and 80 percent usage by encouraging everyone to sleep on the network, especially the vulnerable groups among us.
“Malaria is also preventable through the consistent and correct use of insecticide-treated nets made available to the citizens of the state.
“The nets were treated with safe residual insecticides to kill and repel mosquitoes,” he said.
He said the state government had supported the seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) campaign to facilitate its implementation in the state’s 20 local government areas.
The governor urged residents to work with the personnel deployed for the exercise to ensure that it goes smoothly.
In his remarks, Perpetua Uhomioghi, coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP), described the measure as appropriate and timely to ensure the complete eradication of malaria through effective use of the net.
Mr Uhomioghi said the distribution of the mass ITNs will be carried out in 2021 with support from the Global Fund (GF), adding that the ITNs are one of the key strategies for preventing and eradicating malaria in the country.
“In addition, we have adopted the use of technology for a better and more efficient ITNs campaign process.
“We see a future where program data is displayed in real time and decision-making becomes faster and more effective,” he said.
According to him, there has been a significant decrease in malaria cases recorded in the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (DHS), where the prevalence among children under five fell from 42 percent to 23 percent.
“However, malaria remains a major public health problem in Nigeria and a major barrier to social and economic development.
“In view of this, the healthcare sector is being restructured to enable effective service delivery in the implementation of the malaria elimination program,” said Uhomiobhi.
He reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to continue working with partners and state governments on a malaria-free society.
Sunday Audu, the state’s coordinator for the World Health Organization (WHO), also urged governments at all levels to increase investment in malaria control measures.
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Mr. Audu said the country’s malaria prevalence had fallen sharply in recent years, by 42 percent in 2010; 27 percent in 2015 and 23 percent in 2018.
According to him, the World Malaria Report (WMR) 2021 showed that progress against malaria control has stalled in high-pollution countries.
He added that since 2000, countries with high levels of malaria have made significant strides in controlling the disease through the use of ITNs as the most cost-effective intervention.
For its part, Kolawale Maxwell, Program Coordinator for West and Central Africa, Malaria Consortium (MC), urged beneficiaries to ensure effective use of the nets to protect themselves from malaria.