Chiradzulu — Chiefs in Chiradzulu have asked community leaders to take to task people found misusing mosquito nets that government is expected to distribute this year.
Traditional Authority Ntchema made the call on Thursday during the orientation meeting with community leaders on the net distribution exercise.
"I wish police officers attended this meeting so that they should help us to take to book those that are found misusing the nets," he said while asking his subjects to appreciate the cost of the nets these days.
The chief then advised his subjects to appreciate government's efforts of protecting them from malaria by using the nets for the intended purpose.
He said it would be unfortunate to see people using the nets for fencing backyard gardens to avoid livestock from damaging their crops at the expense of protecting themselves from mosquitoes so that they effectively contribute to the development of the country.
Mosquitoes are carriers of the germ that causes malaria and have to be kept away if people are to be protected from malaria.
The chief urged fellow leaders to unite in stopping people from misusing the nets. He also asked people to be honest by registering the exact number of family members living in their households so that all people benefit from the programme.
T/A Likoswe concurred with Ntchema, saying all leaders should sensitize people on the importance of sleeping under the nets to avoid flooding the hospital with malaria patients during the rainy season as is always the case in his area.
He said community leaders have been tolerating people to use mosquito nets on bags of charcoal without taking any action.
Chief Likoswe also cleared the misconception people have towards nets, saying it was not true that people who sleep under treated mosquito nets become impotent.
Chiradzulu Boma Zone Primary Education Advisor, Cecilia Kamela said she would make a deliberate attempt to have all head teachers in the zone make the announcement at the assembly on the importance of sleeping under the net so that learners are also aware of it.
Meanwhile, the community leaders have since agreed to work closely together to ensure that the nets benefit all and that they are used for the intended purpose.
Government is expected to distribute free mosquito nets across the country starting with the Southern region in September, followed by the Central and Northern regions in October and November, respectively.