A total of 3.8 million Insecticide-Treated Nets, ITNs are to be distributed free to households across Anambra State.
The distribution which will be done by the state government through the State Ministry of Health, is to happen between 2nd to the 17th of August, 2022.
Major targets for the distribution pregnant women and under five children inhabiting rural communities.
Anambra is among the 7 states to benefit from the 2022 distribution of nets, with the others including Delta, Taraba, Niger, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna and Kano states.
At the flag off of the distribution of the nets at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka on Wednesday, Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo explained that the flag off is to kick-start the sensitization on the need for families to key into the exercise to achieve its purpose.
According to the governor, the campaign for zero malaria starts with effective use of mosquito nets and embracing habits that will inhibit breeding of mosquitoes.
“This is to let the people know what is coming and how they can participate when the time comes.
“The distribution of the nets is part of the programmes of my administration at ensuring quality health for the people of the state.
“As a government, we are also working on achieving a clean, green and sustainable environment and that is why we are doing things around urban regeneration and desilting of blocked drainages.
“Residents must also support our efforts at preventing malaria by making sure that gutters in their localities are clean,” the governor said.
Soludo appealed to mothers and community leaders to brace for the mobilization of the families to partake in the distribution exercise.
Speaking at the function, the Minister for health Dr Osagie Ehanire, who spoke through Mrs Hope Obokoh said the idea behind the free distribution is to fight against malaria using preventive measures.
According to the Minister, the occasion marks an important step in the efforts of the Federal Government and its partners at ensuring that every citizen has access to high impact malaria interventions including the ITNs.
He said the nets to be distributed this year are Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) nets, a new generation net.
“The PBO nets came about because of the findings from the vector surveillance activities in the state and the need to improve the efficiency of the nets against the malaria.
“Over the years, government and partners have enabled access to some access to malaria response in Nigeria and data now shows downward trend in the prevalence of malaria in Nigeria including Anambra State.
“Despite that, there is still more to be done,” he said.
The Minister noted that this round of mass campaign in Anambra State will continue with the use of technology, to improve efficiency, transparency and accountability in the ITN distribution.
He thanked the wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Mrs Nonye Soludo for accepting to be the Anambra State Net Ambassador, noting that her role is critical to achieving acceptance by the people in the malaria control crusade in Anambra State.
The National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi who was represented by Olanpeleke Olufunke, noted that the exercise is targeted towards ensuring that every citizen of Nigeria and the benefiting states is protected from malaria through the ownership and use of insecticide treated nets.
Dr Afam Obidike, the Commissioner for Health Anambra State in his address commended the effort of the state governor towards providing Anambra people with best healthcare services and assured that the purpose of the treated-nets will be achieve but harped on the need for collaborative effort.
On his part, the malaria Consortium West and Central Africa Programme Director, Dr Kolawole Maxwell emphasized that the malaria Consortium is concerned with disease control and better health and assured that they will ensure seamless and effective distribution of the 3.8 million insecticide treated nets across the state.
The event was attended by members of the state executive council, some members of the Anambra State House of Assembly including the Speaker, Right Honourable Uchenna Okafor, Anambra State Head of service Barrister, Theodora Igwegbe, traditional rulers led by the Chairman Anambra State Traditional rulers council, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, President’s generals from the communities across the state led by the ASATU National President Barrister Titus Apkudo, The Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Vice president, Chief Damian Okeke- Ogene and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Anambra State chapter president, Chief Emeka Udodeme, the women, Health practitioners among others.
Decoration of Mrs Soludo as the Net Ambassador and a demonstration on how to use the treated net for effectiveness by Mrs Nonye Soludo, as well as symbolic presentation of the insecticide treated nets by the Governor to some of the beneficiaries climaxed the event held at Dr Alex Ekwueme.