In an effort to reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state of Taraba, the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), working with the federal and state governments and with funding from the Global Fund, has started the distribution process for more than two million insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).
This was revealed on Monday during a media discussion in Jalingo as part of the preparations to launch the distribution, according to the CRS's 2022 campaign manager Orezi Adhekoyibo.
She stated that a campaign to provide ITNs to the entire community is one way to increase coverage and ITN use as a malaria prevention measure.
Adhekoyibo said that the media is expected to enlighten the people so that they will actually use the nets and be able to report when the nets are sold in the market since they are not meant to be sold.
The National Coordinator – National Malaria Elimination Program, Dr. Perpetual Uhomoibhi, disclosed that Nigeria contributes the highest volume of global malaria burden.
Uhomoibhi said that “the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the implementation of some health intervention and has the potential to overburden the health system in Nigeria. This can lead to the possibility of losing gains achieved in the fight against malaria in the country.
“Nigeria accounts for 27% of malaria cases and 32% of malaria-related deaths globally. Nigeria accounts for one out of every five deaths from malaria globally. Nigeria accounts for 110 million clinically diagnosed cases per year”.
She regretted that Malaria is under reported despite been a leading health challenge. “As advocates for the voiceless, the media can give a voice to the people to express their concern so that policy makers are better informed in their decision making.
“This parley is aimed at providing opportunities for practicing journalist to gain insights into insecticide treated nets campaign especially in Taraba and get journalist to be more actively involved in the campaign at all levels”.
The parley draws journalist from various media segments in the state and featured presentations on an overview malaria situation in the country, frequently asked questions, the role of the media in the campaign and the of support gaps required of the state and local governments in facilitating Efficient distribution.