An international organisation, Malaria Consortium, said it secured about 14 million U.S. dollars to procure and distribute 3.8 million insecticide-treated nets in Anambra.
Dr Kolawole Maxwell, the West and Central Africa Programme Director of the organisation, said this on Wednesday during the launch of the distribution.
The launch, which was organised by the State and Federal Ministries of Health, was performed by Gov. Charles Soludo.
Maxwell said the funds were pooled by international philanthropists, in response to a cost effective malaria intervention in the state.
“In Anambra state, malaria interventions have not been funded by international partners for some time now.
“I think the last time malaria intervention was funded was in 2014.
“We secured the 14 million dollars to procure and distribute highly cost effective piperonyl butoxide (PBO) insecticide-treated nets to provide additional public health benefits over conventional treated nets.
“These PBO nets are more effective because mosquitoes that spread malaria are now developing resistance to the conventional type of insecticide nets.
“To overcome this resistance, another chemical – PBO – was added to the net.
“We are taking the distribution to the door-steps of every household and we are using technologies to track communities where they have been distributed and where they have not.
“We are urging residents to utilize and take care of the nets to eliminate malaria in the state,” he said.
In a remark, Soludo said the campaign for zero-malaria was to help residents understand the significance of the intervention in order to prevent malaria deaths in the state.
He urged mothers, traditional and community leaders to help mobilise households during the distribution in their communities.
“Since the assumption of our administration, we have been disilting drains across the state to ensure clean and healthy environment to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
“I want to urge residents to complement government’s efforts by imbibing healthy living and environmental hygiene to reduce or kick-out malaria in Anambra,” Soludo said.
Also, the National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi, said that Anambra was one of the seven states to benefit from the intervention.
Uhomoibhi said that Nigeria recorded 33 per cent reduction in malaria burden in 2018, compared to 2010 when it recorded 53 per cent reduction.
A representative of the UN agencies in the state, Dr Moses Ohanene, called for equitable distribution of the nets to ensure that no household was left out.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, regretted the “low use” of insecticide treated nets in the state.
“In Anambra we are still recording very low in the use of nets with 23 per cent, compared to the WHO recommendation of 53 per cent.
“The Soludo led-administration is investing heavily on healthcare by procuring modern equipment and recruiting more health workers to reduce disease incidence and malaria-related deaths.
“I urge residents to constantly sleep under the net to avoid making themselves vulnerable to mosquitoes.
“You should also visit our health facilities for malaria diagnosis and treatment,” the commissioner said.
Highlights of the event included a demonstration of how to use the nets and decoration of the Wife of the Governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo, as the Mosquito Net Ambassador in the state.