Pregnant women have been enjoined to avail themselves the benefits of sleeping under insecticidal treated nets to prevent malaria, a disease that can cause abortion in its severe form.
Mr Godson Kingsley, the Technical facilitator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, gave the charge at a media orientation on Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) replacement campaign in Ibadan.
The Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) replacement campaign aimed at distributing free 4.5 million insecticide treated nets in Oyo State is being organised by Oyo State government in collaboration with the President’s Malaria Initiative.
Kingsley stated that LLINs were the most available tool for malaria prevention, adding that it had proven reduction of malaria related morbidity and mortality among the most vulnerable targets groups such as pregnant women and children.
According to him, the LLINs provided human vector barrier, knockout effect on the mosquitoes and a repellent effect, adding, “its use has been found to reduce health facility visit.”
Kinsley noted that Nigeria contributed a quarter of malaria burden in Africa, quoting Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health as saying that 30 per cent childhood mortality, 25 per cent infant mortality and 11 per cent of maternal mortality were caused by malaria.
According to him, “this shows how deadly and serious malaria can be. Given malaria attention is important, so the media must play along with the government to achieved this objective.”
He declared that the vision of the National Malaria Strategic Plan was to ensure a malaria-free Nigeria by providing at least 80 per cent of targeted population appropriate information on preventive measures on malaria such as LLINs and treatment measures as necessary by 2020.
Kingsley said the free net distribution in Oyo State that billed to take place between 21 and 25 of October, would avail each household one free LLIN to every two persons.
Also, Mrs Maha Adaeze, Demand Creation Consultant, Health Communication, Capacity Collaborative, Nigeria, speaking on correct net hanging stated that the LLINs should be tucked in no matter the sleeping areas, adding that even a single mosquito bite can cause malaria.
Earlier, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan represented by Director for Public Health, Dr Wole Lawal stated that the media has a key role to play in the campaign and to help mobilise and enlighten the community on the importance of the net replacement.
Adeduntan who urged them to also help sustain its community use, especially among pregnant women and children, assured of Oyo State’s government to good health of its citizens.