As the rains begin to set in with its attendant malaria incidence, the Edo state government has begun immediate renovation of its Central Medical Stores in Benin City as it awaits delivery of about 2.6 million insecticide treated mosquito nets to be distributed in the 192 wards across the 18 local government areas of the state.
According to the deputy governor, Rt. Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu, the move is in furtherance of the state’s health policy to collaborate with the World Health Organization, WHO, on the roll back malaria campaign.
The Deputy Governor made this known while inspecting facilities at the state owned medical stores, in Benin, yesterday.
According to him, the visit was to carry out on the spot assessment on the facility to know whether the medical stores has the capacity to keep the expected 2.6 million nets before distribution.
Comrade shaibu noted that despite the short time frame, the state Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has directed that all modalities must be in place before the arrival of the third and fourth tranches of the treated nets, adding that the governor also directed that the beneficiaries across the 192 wards in the local government must be properly sensitized regarding the use of the insecticide treated nets before distribution.
Most users of insecticide mosquito nets, especially in rural communities where illiteracy is high, hardly expose the nets to the weather under a shade for 24 hours or more before usage, hence the complaints about adverse body reactions such as burning sensations.
Entomologists advice that the nets should be washed with mild soap and dried under a shade to avoid direct contact with the sunlight since the sun rays could destroy the chemical potency of the net.
Comrade Shaibu assured that the state health committee being headed by himself will be thorough in the supervision and monitoring of the distribution process ,explaining that the state government would not leave anything to chance as it was ready to collaborate with all supporting agencies and the none governmental organizations to ensure equitable distribution to residents in the state, especially the rural communities.
“On the issue of ensuring that the nets get to the rural areas, where they are needed most,we will ensure that proper monitoring is done across all the local governments and we are collaborating with non-governmental organizations so as to ensure that the right people get the nets.” He emphasized.
Meanwhile, the deputy governor has said that his committee which has the Chief of Staff, Mr Taiwo Akerele, Chief Security Officer,Government House, Mr Haruna Yusuf and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Peter Ugbodaga members will soon carry out sensitisation exercise to educate the people before the distribution of the nets.
Dr peter Ugbodaga who conducted the deputy governor and his team round the facility, said the state has already taken delivery of the first and second tranches of about 36 trucks of the nets while about 34 trucks are being expected in June this year, adding that the excercise is a result of the collaborative efforts between the state government and the Catholic Relief Services, CRS, sponsored by the World Bank through the Federal Ministry of Health.
He expressed the state’s readiness to receive the consignment, assuring that the medical stores have the capacity to accomodate the 2.6 million treated nets.
Ugbodaga explained that the distribution of the insecticide treated nets would be done in July and August this year across the 192 wards of the state, being the thick of the rainy season when the cases of malaria are more rampant.