No fewer than 7.3 million beneficiaries have received the Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) across the 25 local government areas of Niger state, an official has said.
Mr Musa Zakari, an official of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), supporting the Technical Workstream for the 2022 ITN campaign in Niger state, announced this during the 2022 state ITN campaign debriefing in Minna on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Niger state in collaboration with NMEP, Society for Family Health (SFH), Catholic Relief Service and Chemonics, distributed 3.7 million ITN to households to fight malaria in the state.
Zakari disclosed that a total number of 3,762,873 ITN were distributed to 1,469,935 households mobilised using 2,502 device for the campaign across the 25 local government areas of Niger.
He said that the nets were distributed using the 2006 census projected to 2022 of the state, adding that 100 per cent rate of the ITN were distributed.
He added that 9,487 personnel were trained and engaged for the campaign, adding that 68 pieces of ITN were remaining at the state warehouse post campaign.
Zakari, however, listed the challenges encountered during the mobilisation and distribution exercise of ITN to include difficulties in accessing some communities due to peak of raining season.
Other challenges he said were micro plan population was more than the ITN requirement for the state and cases of alleged misuse of nets in some local government areas especially in Bida and Mashegu.
Also, Mr John Ocholi, the Campaign Manager for ITN in Niger, appreciated the Niger government for providing an enabling environment for successful 2022 ITN campaign in the state.
He said that the population of the Niger state was more than the number of nets allocated to the state, adding that more households were covered in 2022 than it was in 2019. Responding, Dr Muhammad Maikusidi, Commissioner for Health and Hospital Management in Niger, commended the partners for providing free nets to residents of the state.
Makusidi, represented by Dr Mohammed Gana, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said malaria prevalence in the state was still high and appealed to the partners to do more to reduce malaria burden.
The total population in Niger was estimated at 24.2 million people in 2020, according to the latest census figures and projections from Trading Economics.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is set to partner with the Cross River Health Insurance Agency (CRSHIA) in the fight against malaria.
In a meeting with CRSHIA in Calabar, Dr Veronica Momoh, USAID’s Malaria Management Specialist in Nigeria, said they wanted to know the readiness of the scheme for a possible collaboration to end malaria in the state.
Momoh said that through the contribution of the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), they had been able to support Nigeria’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) to ensure a malaria-free Nigeria.
She said that PMI’s goal was to reduce severe Malaria and its attendant complications and also reduce complications associated with malaria.
“PMI aims to reduce all causes of under-five and maternal mortality by delivering quality services for the management of malaria and its complications.
“It also aims to prevent malaria during pregnancy which puts the life of mother and child at risk by providing drugs, insecticide treated nets and other commodities,” she said.
The Director-General (D-G) of CRSHIA, Mr Godwin Iyala, in his response told the team that the state health insurance scheme had a robust package that covered malaria in entirety because of its prevalence in tropical Africa.
Iyala said that the scheme’s 100 per cent malaria coverage was its own contribution and effort at ensuring that malaria was eliminated.
“In line with best practices, we plan to deliver quality, affordable and accessible healthcare services that will eliminate catastrophic consequences and out-of-pocket expenditures for healthcare.
“We have tried to ensure that the 196 primary healthcare facilities across the state’s 18 local government areas and all the general hospitals are accessible for primary or secondary care as the case may be.
“Also just recently, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) for tertiary referrals when the need arises,” he said.
He thanked USAID for the partnership, adding that their names would remain in the history books for assisting to enthrone universal health coverage in Cross River.
The Sokoto State Government to ensure that the 3.1 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) are not diverted to the open markets.
Dr Muslimu Gobir, the Director-General of the Sokoto State Malaria Elimination Agency (SOSMEA) made this known while briefing newsmen in Sokoto.
Gobir said that the state government has set guidelines in place to ensure that the ITNs are not misused for fishing purposes and other misdoings,.
”The transportation, storage and distribution of these ITNs would be under tight surveillance,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organized in collaboration with USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria as part of the implementation partners.
The director-general solicited for robust partnership with journalists in the state to facilitate maximum success in the distribution of the nets.
Gobir also said the state government has set upa planning and distribution committees to ensure a hitch-free exercise scheduled to begin Oct. 21 to Oct. 29, 2022. He commended donor agencies for their support.
Gobir noted that government officials, non governmental organisations, community-based groups, traditional rulers, security agencies and journalists were included in the committees.
The director-general said that at least 15,000 workers would participate in the statewide campaign exercise, adding that the plan is to reach about five million people with the treated nets.
”The teams will go round for beneficiaries registration and cards issuance to the households from Oct. 1 to Oct. 9, 2022, then follow with distribution of ITNs using the cards to collect during the campaign period.
”Procurement and other preparations were conducted at national level between the Federal Government and donor agencies.
”However, in Sokoto state about N534 million would be expended as implementation cost, out of which state government provided N178 million as counterpart fund,” he said.
According to him, malaria constituted 60 to 70 per cent of clinical cases in the hospital, with high prevalence rates in West African sub-region, while Nigeria had higher recorded cases.
He said the exercise is being conducted in every three years noting that in 2018 no fewer than 2 million ITNs were distributed free to citizens in the state and now plan for more in expectation of the times changes.
Earlier, Dr Abdulrahman Ibrahim, the Sokoto state Coordinator of USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria, said Malaria a life threatening disease transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitos.
Ibrahim said experts resolved that sleeping inside ITNs is one of the best ways to prevent malaria as they formed physical and chemical barrier against mosquitos.
” Studies have shown that the use of ITNs reduced malaria incidence by 50 per cent in sub-saharan Africa, a region that accounts for more than 90 per cent of global cases.
” There is reduction of malaria prevalence in Nigeria from 27 per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent.
Prevalence in children under the age of 5 in Sokoto state is 32.7 per cent.
” One out of five deaths from malaria globally occur in Nigeria, an estimated 30 per cent of child morality and 11 per cent of maternal death each year are due to malaria.
” Ibrahim said.
The coordinator added the malaria is common cause of absenteeism from school, offices, farms, markets among others which resulted to lower productivity.
” Two out of four persons having malaria in West Africa sub-region live in Nigeria and over 31 million estimated cases of malaria occur annually in Nigeria.
” Malaria exerts a huge social and economic burden on our communities and country and billions of naira are being lost to malaria annually from treatment cost and loss of man hours, ” he added.
According to him, in order to reduce the burden of malaria, Sokoto state government with collaboration with National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) with support from United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI-US) implement ITNs campaign targeting 3.1 million nets distribution in the state.
NAN reports that the event witnessed presentations, questions and answers, as well as interaction on best ways to achieve overall results through media awareness and educate people.
Malaria Consortium, an International NGO, says the End Process Survey across the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra is to ascertain if beneficiaries of 3.8 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) are using them correctly.
Mrs Laitan Adeniyi, Campaign Manager, Malaria Consortium ITNs Mass Campaign, gave the explanation at a one- day training of 84 Campaign Monitoring Team on Sunday in Awka. Adeniyi explained that four persons would be deployed to each of the 21 local government areas of the state, saying that their assignment was to randomly select houses of beneficiaries and ask them questions about the nets received.
“In the course of the assignment, the team will find out if the beneficiaries have started using the nets, and if not why?
“The objective of the end process survey is to provide a quick information on the quality of the distribution for informed decision making and follow up actions” she said.
Mrs Titilope Akinlalu, Technical Work Stream Advisor, Malaria Consortium, said the ITNs distribution which took place across the state from Aug.7 to Aug.20 was to eliminate malaria scourge.
She said the NGO might return to Anambra for another round of campaign but that the end process survey report would guide their decision.
Akinlalu urged the field workers to be thorough and accurate in their data collation, saying that the technological devices provided for them would give details on how best or otherwise they performed.
Mr Boniface Pupshep, an official of National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Federal Ministry of Health, said that past findings showed that some beneficiaries of ITNs did not sleep inside the nets.
He blamed high incidences of mortality and morbidity relating to malaria scourge on ignorance of most Nigerians to effectively use ITNs. Mr Tunde Ibileye, Consultant to Malaria Consortium on Field Security Awareness advised participants on necessary precautionary measures in doing the job.
He told them to shun unnecessary arguments capable of snowballing into confrontation in the field but should apply wisdom while engaging the people.
Mrs Ifeyinwa Echezona, one of the participants deployed to cover Idemili North Local Government Area, said she was impressed with the meticulous way Malaria Consortium went about the distribution.
“First their policy that those who distributed the nets should be different from those carrying out the end process survey, is an indication that the group is a serious organisation to reckon with.
“I am equally happy that they are painstakingly involved in gathering data after the distribution because that certainly will show the true results of the whole project,” she said.
Chief Sunny-Neville Uchendu, Chairman, Orumba South Local Government Area told the News Agency of Nigeria that he was personally impressed and that his council had learnt a lot from the group on better ways to distribute materials to the masses.
“This group first embarked on micro planning before the ITNs distribution, and now they are painstakingly involved in post distribution survey, this is a good way to go,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has attributed the 35 per cent malaria prevalence cases in Niger to low usage of mosquito nets among residents of the state.
He said this when he led a delegation from the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and other malaria control partners on advocacy visit on the 2022 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) campaign to Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger in Minna on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Niger state government is collaborating with NMEP, Society for Family Health (SFH), Catholic Relief Service and Chemonics to distribute over 3.7 million ITN in the state.
Ehanire, represented by Mr Okefu Okoko, Head Integrated Vector Management Branch of NMEP of the Federal Ministry of Health, disclosed that Niger had 35 per cent malaria prevalence which was high because only 16 per cent of people were using nets in the state.
“A lot of work needs to be done, especially on net ownership and usage which is very low despite several efforts.
That is what we are working towards to improve upon in the state,” he said.
He said that Global Fund was supporting Niger state with N11.9 billion for three years to be used for different aspects of malaria intervention such as provision of drugs, nets, seasonal malaria chemo prevention and rapid malaria test kits.
He appealed to the state government to pay it’s counterpart funds of N1.7 billion to ensure that malaria parasite prevalence was reduced below 10 per cent before 2025 and reduce mortality.
Responding, Bello commended NMEP and other malaria control partners for donating over 3.7 million ITN which would go a way in reducing malaria prevalence in the state.
He described the 16 per cent usage of mosquito nets among residents of the state as very low and pledged to provide support needed for the net campaign to ensure that the everyone got access to nets for usage.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, Commissioner of Health in Niger, said about 3.7 million nets worth N4 billion had been allocated to the state for mass distribution.
In her remarks, Dr Jennifer Anyanti, Deputy Managing Director, SFH, said it was supporting Niger Government to distribute 3.7 million ITN to households and create awareness on the nets to ensure it got to everyone in the state.
Anambra residents who benefited from the free Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) distributed by an NGO, Malaria Consortium, have called on government to use technology in dispensing future benefits of democracy.
Thet beneficiaries spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in the various communities, including Adazi-Nnukwu, Obelendu, Akwaeze, Urum, Nibo, Awka, Amawbia, Mgbaku, and Agulu.
The visit was to fact-check how the ITNs distribution was executed across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
Malaria Consortium, an International NGO, had embarked on free distribution of 3.8 million ITNs across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state, a measure aimed at eliminating the malaria scourge.
The nets were shared on a door-to-door basis to every household by trained personnel.
The donation of the ITN came from GiveWell Open Philanthropic Funding, with support from Anambra State Government and National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP).
Mrs Grace Onukwube from Mgbaku said, she was surprised and happy to receive four nets for her household, in spite of having nobody in government.
“When the distributors entered our compound and said they came to share nets, I expressed mixed feelings within me.
“First I was frightened that the people were on a mission unknown and I told them that I didn’t belong to any political party and why me.
“They told me that the gesture was donation from an NGO; they asked me certain questions like how many children I had, number of people consistently sleeping in the house every night.
” I saw them documenting my response, using a device in form of phone and they said it was for efficiency and accountability.
“It was after the distributors had left that I realized the device they used was to document that my household has been registered and given free nets.
I saw sincerity in their work ” Onukwube said.
She therefore encouraged governments at all levels to emulate Malaria Consortium by adopting technological devices in sharing certain democracy dividends.
Mrs Uju Okwa, Linus Ndukwe and Vitus Okafor from Obelendu, Akwaeze and Urum communities corroborated the views of Onukwube, saying that the seamless distribution was a departure from old order.
“We have had previous cases of mass distribution of materials by governments, but none has gotten to many like the ITNs mass campaign by Malaria Consortium and the difference is due to the use of the device.
It checkmated primitive diversions.
“The field workers were afraid that the device could expose any misconduct regarding the distribution; for that reason, most of them respected their rules of engagement,” Okafor said.
Mr. Ahmed Ologolo, Malaria Consortium Consultant for the ITNs Campaign in Anambra, said the device deployed was one of the best ways to ensure accountability and efficiency for mass distribution in large settlements.
“The device has a technology application on it, it was used to capture the data of each household visited, their names, family size to determine number of nets to be given to the households.
“It enabled the team to ensure health talk was given to the households on the use and care for nets.
“Other function is that it gives us real time data for tracking and reducing fraudulent activity in the field, because we can track, trace and capture the mobilisation of households,” Ologolo said.
Rural and urban dwellers in Anambra have expressed gratitude to Malaria Consortium, an international non-governmental organisation, for giving them more than 3.8 million Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITN). Malaria Consortium distributed the nets with support from “Give Well Open Philanthropic Funding’’, in collaboration with the Anambra State government and the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP). Mrs Laitan Adeniyi, ITN Campaign Manager at Malaria Consortium said on Sunday in Awka that distribution of the nets began on Aug. 7. She added that the exercise was going on simultaneously in the 21 local government areas of Anambra. “Before the distribution of the nets, we visited Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to advocate for the buy-in of the state government. “We also paid advocacy visits to relevant ministries, agencies, security agencies, media houses, religious leaders, and other stakeholders for a successful distribution of the nets,’’ she said. Mrs Adeniyi said Malaria Consortium also conducted capacity building for personnel to be engaged in the distribution and sensitised journalists and town criers on ways to ensure adequate awareness about the nets. “Through the support of the state government Mobilisation and Distribution Teams, Local Government Areas Conveyors and Distribution Hub supervisors were engaged for the exercise. “Civil Society Organisations were also engaged, while adequate logistics arrangements and technological devices were put in place to ensure efficiency and accountability in the distribution of the nets,’’ she said. She stressed that Malaria Consortium took the painstaking efforts to ensure that end-users got the nets free. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria visited Adazi-Ani and Neni in Anaocha Local Government Area and Amachara, Umudioka in Awka Local Government Area to monitor the distribution. Mr Vincent Onwughalu, a resident of Adazi-Ani said his household received four of the ITN nets on Sunday, Aug. 7. “When the distributors came, I thought the nets were for sale, but after their explanations, I am happy that people who remember ordinary Nigerians still exist,’’ he said. Onwughalu said using bed nets was imperative in staving off malaria-causing mosquitoes. Another respondent, Mr Oliver Nwachukwu said he was happy when told that the nets came from a non-profit group. “This meant that there are still good-spirited individuals who are concerned about the plight of Nigerians; my prayers is for God to reward those behind this gesture,’’ he said. Mrs Lovely Okoye and Mrs Augustina Mbamalu both residents of Neni described regular usage of bed nets as anti-dote to malaria, especially among infants. Okoye specifically urged expectant and women of childbearing age to stick to the usage of bed nets. “Since I was educated on the importance of net after the birth of my first child in 2007 I have sustained the practice,’’ she said. In her remarks, Mrs Grace Kalu, Coordinator of Malaria Consortium’s ITN Mass Campaign in Anaocha Local Government Area, said communities in the area were classified into 167 settlement clusters for smooth distribution of the nets. She said 123 settlement clusters had received the free ITNs as at Aug. 13, adding that the door-to-door distribution was flawless because the nets were already at micro hubs. She said also that data collated at the micro planning stage were used to allocate nets to every local government area for easy distribution of the nets to recipient homes. She advised beneficiaries to ensure they always slept inside the nets as that would enable them to reap bountiful benefits from the gesture. NAN reports that beneficiaries were advised to air the nets for 24 hours before using them. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Anambra, have cautioned beneficiaries of free Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) in the state, against using them for fishing, or preserving grains, as they are meant to prevent mosquito bites.
Mr Chris Azor, the Chairman, Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET) gave the advise when he spoke at a ceremony to commence the distribution of 3.8 million ITNs in the state in Awka. The programme is being handled by the State Government in partnership with Malaria Consortium across all the 21 Local Government Areas(LGAs) of the state.
Azor said that each household would receive between one and four mosquito nets depending on the size of the family.
Also speaking, His Royal Majesty, Igwe Gibson Nwosu who received the team for distributing the nets in his palace on Saturday in Awka commended the donor and government for facilitating the process.
Nwosu however, enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the nets as regular usage of the nets had been proven to be effective in checking mortality and morbidity relating to malaria scourge.
During a recent Media engagement, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, said it was necessary for the people to be well informed about the distribution.
“This exercise is in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Malaria Consortium and with support from GiveWell Open Philanthropic Funding.
“The 2022 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) mass distribution, which commenced on Aug. 7, is free for every household across the state.
“The objective of the ITN mass campaign is to ensure that for every 2 persons gets one bed-net to sleep inside and the distribution will be done on door-to-door bases across all the 21 LGAs of the State,” Obidike said.
According to him, the newly collected nets must be aired under a shade for 24hours before hanging and sleeping inside.
“When the nets are dirty, wash them with mild soap and stitch with thread and needle if torn,” he said.
The Commissioner while appealing to the residents to cooperate with the distributors, urged the media and relevant stakeholders to help in enlightening the public on the importance of the exercise.
Caroline Okoye, Jude Nnazuo and Felix Nwokedi all worked as town announcers in Awka Ward 2 and Achara Ward 1 in Awka South and Awka North LGAs. According to them, their role was to announce to the residents on the way the nets are to be used and the need for them to adhere to the instructions strictly.
“We use either megaphone or bell to draw the attention of the residents and announce to them to open their gates and collect the free ITN nets.
“We equally inform them to regularly sleep inside the nets that it is a proven means of eliminating the mosquitoes attacks which is the cause of malaria,” Okoye said.
Mrs Bukola Oyetomi and Mrs Nnenaya Uwalaka-Obasi both Coordinators for the campaign in Awka North and Awka South LGAs, said that the exercise was seamless in their areas.
“The people were excited to have the nets and many of them were very hospitable to our field workers,” Uwalaka-Obasi said.
Oyetomi praised the conducts of most community leaders in Isuaniocha, Mgbaku, Amanuke, Achara, Ebenebe and Amansea for their cooperation in ensuring that their subjects were orderly while the exercise lasted.
The Adamawa Government has tasked people of the state to always clean their surroundingsto avoid breeding of mosquitoes, the vector for malaria disease and other related diseases.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Abdullahi Isa, made the call on Monday in Yola to commemorate the 2022 WorldMalaria Day (WMD).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Malaria Day is annually observed on April 25 around the globeto raise awareness about the pandemic that has continued to claim lives and send millions to hospital.
It is a day marked by all member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to underscore the collective energyand commitments of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria.
The global observance has “Harness Innovation to Reduce the Malaria Disease Burden and Save Lives” as its 2022theme.
The theme is a call for investments and innovation that will bring new vector control approaches, diagnostics, antimalarialmedicines and other tools to speed the pace of progress against malaria.
The commissioner said that the major strategy, among others, put in place to control malaria in the state includedsensitisation on environmental sanitation, prompt diagnosis and treatment.
He added that “the recent National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) reveals that over 90,000 malaria-relateddeaths are recorded in Nigeria every year.
“Nigeria accounts for about a quarter of the global burden of malaria, with nine to 10 persons dying of malaria or malaria-relatedcases every hour.
“The prevalence of malaria is, however, declining as shown in national surveys from 27 per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2018.
“And for Adamawa, the prevalence is 21 per cent, following the adoption of major strategy put in place for the control andelimination of the disease.”
Isa also said that one of the preventive measures adopted was the use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLITN),as well as proper environmental management system.
The commissioner said that the state government had intensified campaign on prevention of mother-to-child transmissionthrough the Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTp) after the first trimester every month till birth.
“We are encouraging pregnant women to always use the LLITN to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to avoid beinginfected with malaria.
“Malaria can also be prevented through Seasonal Malaria Chemo (SMC) prevention administration to children under fiveyears”, he said.( NAN)(
The Nasarawa Government is to distribute 1.5 million Long lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) as part of efforts to curb the scourge of malaria in the state.
Mr Ahmed Yahaya, state Commissioner for health disclosed this at an event to commemorate the World Malaria Day in Lafia.
NAN reports that the UN set aside April 25 every year as World Malaria Day, to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.
Yahaya noted that in spite of the current challenge of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) ravaging the world, the state was not unmindful of the effect of malaria, especially in pregnant women and children.
“That is why we are commemorating the World Malaria Day in continuation of the fight against malaria by encouraging the adoption of preventive measure and priority behaviours such as sleeping inside long-lasting insecticide-treated nets always,” he said.
The commissioner pointed out that the efforts of the government and other stakeholders had helped in reducing the malaria burden in the state from 42 to 13.6 per cent as indicated by the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS).
He said that 1.6 million LLINs were distributed to households in 2018, including those to pregnant women and children under five on completion of immunisation.
Yahaya said the state had also trained health care workers in case management of malaria; adopted the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) protocol of testing before treatment as well as ensuring regular supply of malaria commodities, among others.
He encouraged pregnant women to take at least three doses of Intermittent Preventive Therapy in pregnancy during ante-natal care visits to clinics.
“All individuals with fever should demand testing before treatment and if found positive for malaria, should complete the full course of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT),” Yahaya added.
He lauded the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/US President Malaria Initiative – Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N), Global Health Supply Chain (GHSC) as well as the media towards ensuring zero malaria in the state. .
Edited By: Joe Idika/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)