US Government expends over N2.3 Billion on procurement of Mosquito nets in Cross River,

By Edem Edem, Calabar.

The United State Government through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (U.S. PMI) has expended N2.3 Billion for procurement of free malaria nets in Cross River State.

The amount, DAILY NEWS findings revealed were meant for the procurement of over 2.3 Million bed nets, treatment, transportation and other logistics for the distribution of the items (Nets)

Speaking at a one day training workshop for Journalists in the State on Monday, the Malaria Logistic Manager, Global Health Supply Chain, procurement Supply Management, Mr. Godwin Aidenagbon said the efforts of US Government was to eliminate malaria in Cross Rive State.

He said it took about eight months to transport the product from Pakistan to Nigeria. “The program was majorly funded by US government. The objective of the distribution is to ensure that every 2 persons in Cross Rive State house hold have it free.

“The distribution was for 973 distribution points across all the 18 LGAs of the State. Nigeria contributes a quarter of malaria burden in Africa. 97% of the total population was at risk of having malaria. Malaria is responsible for about 68% of all clinic attendance (nearly 110 million clinically diagnosed cases per year). FMoH notes that 30% childhood mortality, 25% of infant mortality & 11% maternal mortality are caused by malaria

He explained that malaria was the commonest cause of absenteeism from schools, offices, farms, markets, etc resulting to lower productivity. The Cross River State Campaign Process according to him was to reduce malaria burden to pre-elimination levels and bring malaria-related mortality to zero

“Provide at least 80% of targeted population utilizes appropriate preventive measures by 2020, provide adequate information to all Nigerians such that at least 80% of the populace habitually takes appropriate malaria preventive and treatment measures as necessary by 2020

“Prevention of malaria transmission through Integrated Vector Management (IVM) Strategy, universal access and use of Long-lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and Larval Source Management (LSM)” he stated.

Also speaking, the Director of Public Health, State Ministry of Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara said “Every household must ensure that they collect net cards during registration and distribution would commence in earnest, adding that newly collected nets must be aired under a shade for 24hrs before use

He said the distribution campaign would be led by the Cross-River State Ministry of Health through State Malaria Elimination Program with technical assistance from U.S. PMI implementing partners – Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement Supply Management (GHSC – PSM) Project and Breakthrough ACTION Nigeria (BA-N)”

Consequently, the Senior Program Officer, Media, Mr. Eze Eze said that the Media Orientation was to provide opportunities for practicing journalists to gain insights into Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), distribution Campaign with emphasis on the on-going campaign in state

“Re-orientate journalists on malaria prevention and control with special emphasis on LLINs, Motivate journalists to develop interests in the coverage and reporting on the campaign – pre, during and post campaign activities and get journalists to join in the National crusade for a ‘Malaria free Nigeria”

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Cross River State Council, Comrade Victor Udu thanked the US government, Ministry of Health and other agencies for the enlightening members on malaria control and prevention. The workshop was attended by broadcast, print and social media drawn across the state.

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