This Day (Lagos)

12 August 2012

Nigeria: Abia Begins Distribution of 1.2 Million Mosquito Nets

As the distribution of 1.2 million long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) commenced in Abia State, the federal government has reiterated that its long term strategy in the war against mosquito was total elimination of the malaria scourge in Nigeria.

Over 5, 000 personnel have been mobilised and trained for effective distribution of the nets across the 17 Local Governments of Abia with each household to receive two nets in order to improve the use of LLINs, which the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Okechukwu Ogah, described as "abysmally low" presently.

But Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, said that his administration has earmarked N39 million to ensure the success of the universal coverage campaign on scaling up long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINS) distribution in Abia State.

Represented by the deputy governor, Chief Emeka Ananaba, Orji said that the health care of Abians was among the top priorities of his government, which has been demonstrated through the provision of modern health facilities across the state, adding that the state government was deeply involved in efforts to eliminate the malaria scourge in the land and has earmarked N39 million for the campaign.

Minister of Health, Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who was in Umuahia to witness the flag-off campaign, declared that "we shall intensify our efforts towards the elimination of malaria".

He said that the distribution of the nets was just a stop gap in the long term strategy of making the country malaria free, which would involve "taking the fight to mosquito" by killing not only the adult vector but also stopping it from breeding by killing off the larvae at source.

"We are determined to accelerate and intensify efforts to achieve elimination of the disease in the country," he said, adding "In this regard, we are mobilising everybody to be part of this effort to eliminate malaria".

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