The Head, Media and Communication Manager, Society for Family Health Nigeria, Mr. Gbue Daniel, says 2,692,209 free Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets would be distributed among households in 193 wards of Kwara State.
Daniel disclosed this at the malaria orientation campaign held in Illorin for media persons.
LN247 reports that the Kwara Government in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme with funding support from the Global Fund Malaria Project, carried out the 2023 ITN/SMC malaria campaign.
Daniel explained that the campaign included a door-to-door approach in the 2023 Integrated Insecticide Treated Nets and Seasonal Malaria Chemotherapy mass campaign to eliminate malaria in the state.
He also revealed that the 2,283,800 Sulfadoxin-Pyrimethamine with AmodiaQuine (SPAQ) would be administered to eligible children aged three to 59 months as malaria prevention drugs.
“The objective of the integrated SMC/ITN mass campaign is to ensure that for every person in Kwara state, there is one-bed Mosquito Nets to sleep inside, and every eligible child receives a full course of SPAQ.
“Simultaneous household registration and distribution of ITNs and SPAQ will commence from Oct. 19 to Nov. 1, 2022. Households must ensure that they leave somebody at home within this period to collect Mosquito Nets,” he said.
Daniel added that households who have eligible children between three to 59 months old must ensure they receive SPAQ.
He noted that SPAQ is given only to children who are not sick and are between three and 59 months of age.
“Caregivers must ensure their children complete the SPAQ dosage for days two and three. The newly collected ITNs must be aired under a shade for 24 hours before hanging and sleeping inside. Bring down the old Mosquito Nets and hang the new ones,” he said.
The state Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr. Oluwatosin Fakayode, said about 6,000 personnel would be deployed for the exercise, including ITN distributors, SPAQ dispensers and recorders.
He lamented that malaria has significant consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations like children under five years, and pregnant women, adding that it is also a leading cause of illness and death in Nigeria.
According to him, malaria contributes to high child mortality rates and reduced productivity, and untreated malaria can result in complications such as anaemia, organ failure and even death.
“It is the most common cause of absenteeism from schools, offices, farms, markets, etc., resulting in lower productivity.
“In addition to the overburden on the health system, it also exerts a huge social and economic burden on our communities and country.
“It retards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 40 per cent annually and billions of Naira is lost to malaria annually in the form of treatment cost, prevention and loss of man hours,” he said.
He stated that the team would visit households, register the household, give them health talks, issue them Mosquito Nets and administer SPAQ.
“Households must ensure that someone is available at home within this period to provide information to the CMDs and collect the Mosquito Nets. The Mosquito Nets are Free as well as the SPAQ,” he added.