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Expert urges proper use of insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria

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Chima Azubuike

The Director of Disease Control and Immunisation, Gombe State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Mustapha Abdullahi, has urged Nigerians to embrace proper use of Insecticide Treated Nets, noting that it would help reduce the prevalence rates of malaria across the country

Abdullahi made the call while speaking with PUNCH Healthwise in an interview in Gombe.

He spoke with our correspondent shortly after a media parley with journalists on the Universal Coverage Campaign, organised by the agency, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Malaria Elimination Programme, with support from the Global Fund.

According to Abdullahi, Gombe state has about a 33 per cent malaria prevalence rate, adding that consistent and proper ITNs and other measures would help reduce the prevalence.

Abdullahi said, “There is a need to use ITN’s correctly, it will further reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state. 

“We are talking about getting ITNs and using them correctly. 

“At the moment we are talking about a prevalence of 33 per cent in the state which is totally unacceptable. 

“So we need to find ways to reduce malaria in Gombe State. The whole idea is to bring the battle to the community so that they can own the entire process so that it will get to the targeted homes,” he said.

He added, “We will be distributing about 2.3 million Insecticide Treated Nets in Gombe State and the cost of the nets runs into billions, 

“The target of this parley with media practitioners is to find ways to amplify voices about the importance of using Insecticide Treated Nets. 

“We feel one of the key strategic players is the media. The media will carry the message down to the community so that people will be enlightened. 

“The campaign for the distribution will start in two weeks or so. We intend to go from door to door to distribute the net free. 

“This is due to the current realities on the ground because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In the past, we used to have a distribution point where people come to pick, but that has stopped”

Abdullahi revealed, “We have about 2,000 people, close to about 3,000 personnel who are going to be on the field to do the distribution from house to house in the 11 LGA’s. We call them distribution house supervisors.”

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