By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
As part of its Campaign to fight the scourge of malaria, the Ebonyi State Govt in partnership with the President’s Malaria Initiative, (PMI), says it will officially begin the distribution of over 2million Insecticide Treated nets (ITN), to households in the state from January 27, 2023.
Speaking during a media Parley held in Abakaliki, the state capital, Tuesday, the Malaria Programme Officer, Ministry of Health, Lawrence Nwankwo, noted that all household will get cards to collect their nets at one of the 215 wards distribution points across the 13 Local Government Areas of the State.
He said the ministry was embarking on the campaign in partnership with the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (US-PMI), USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N), IHP and other partners to ensure that every social and economic burden faced by households in Nigeria through treatment and loss from malaria is reduced drastically.
Nwankwo, called on the the media to join the campaign by sensitizing the masses through their reportage in a bid to achieve the goal of a ‘Malaria free Nigeria’.
“We want to better inform you about the campaign in Nigeria and in Ebonyi. We want the media to be used to support the campaign”.
Representative of the President’s Malaria Initiative, PMI, Godson Kingsley, on his part, revealed that the prevalence of malaria in children below the age of five in Ebonyi state according to Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, (NDHS), 2018, was 30%.
Kingsley stated that over 3 million estimated cases of malaria occur annually with two out of four persons diagnosed in West African Sub-region and one out of five deaths globally occur Nigeria.
“Malaria is a life-threatening disease transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
“According to available reports, there is a reduction in malaria prevalence in Nigeria from 27 per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2018.
“The prevalence of malaria in children under the age of 5 in Ebonyi State is 30 per cent.
“Nigeria accounts for nearly 110 million clinically diagnosed cases per year, and an estimated 30 per cent of child and 11 per cent of maternal deaths each year are due to malaria.
“It is the commonest cause of absenteeism from schools, offices, farms, markets, etc resulting in lower productivity.
“Malaria exerts a huge social and economic burden on our communities and country, billions of naira are lost to malaria annually in form of treatment cost, prevention, and loss of man-hours,” he stated.