Ahead of the initial arrival today, Monday, September 3, 2012 of at least over one million mosquito bed nets in the country, Plan-Liberia has conducted a four-day pre-distribution survey of several recipient communities in Grand Bassa County. The four-day exercise, which began last Thursday August 28, 2012 and ended Sunday September 1, 2012, is part of Plan-Liberia/ Global Fund Round-10 Malaria Initiative.
It can be recalled that Plan-Liberia was awarded the Global Fund Grant Round 10 Project to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The pending distribution of the treated mosquito bed nets aims at scaling up malaria prevention and control in a bid to reduce malaria related mortality in country.
The distribution of the mosquito bed nets will focus on children under the ages of 5 and pregnant women who are considered the most vulnerable to malaria. The Plan-Liberia/Global Fund initiative was triggered by the recent Liberia Demographic Health Survey (LDHS 2007) survey report which says malaria kills 38% of out-patient and 42% of in-patient deaths.
According to the LDHS, malaria causes the death of 114 children under aged 5 per 1,000 births and 349 maternal deaths per 100,000 in Liberia, thus posing a severe threat to child survival in the country. Commenting on the recent survey ahead of the pending distribution exercise, Mr. Aruna Fallah, Chief of Party of the Global Fund Round-10 Grant initiative said the survey was intended to know the level of community intervention Plan-Liberia has been making in preparation for the mosquito bed nets distribution in the seven health districts of Grand Bassa County.
"We have been able to tour couple of districts in Grand Bassa and we are satisfied with the level of work done; we went to several communities and we found out that people are knowledgeable about the causes and symptoms of malaria," he said. He said he has no doubts that from what he learned from the survey that the mosquito bed nets will reach the targeted people in the areas.
Mr. Fallah said the level of education about the harmful effect of malaria in the villages and urban areas where the nets will be distributed indicates that more people will sleep under it to prevent themselves from dying of mosquito bites. He pointed out that the primary goal of Plan-Liberia and partners' organizations is for people to sleep under mosquito bed nets provide them free-of-charge at all times, adding, "this is the best way to you and your children against the Liberia number-one-killer disease."
Counties earmarked to benefit from the initial shipment of the 1.1million mosquito bed nets include rural Montserrado, Grand Massa, Margibi, Bong and Nimba Counties respectively.