The Federal Government says it will distribute 25 million treated mosquito nets in six states of the federation this year.
Alhaji Abdulaziz Mashi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said in Jalingo on Friday that the exercise would be executed in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
Mashi said at the flag-off of the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) that it was part of government’s efforts at tackling the scourge of malaria in the country.
“The campaign across the six states is aimed at delivering over 25 million LLINs to beneficiaries in the country, with support from Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
“Today’s flag off signifies the commencement of the series of activities that will lead to the distribution of over two million nets to all communities in the 16 LGAs in Taraba state,’’ he explained.
Mashi added that the federal government had adopted the LLINs replacement campaign as one of the strategies for the prevention and elimination of malaria in the country.
He said that Nigeria had continued to witness appreciable progress in malaria control and elimination efforts.
“Studies from the 2015 Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) have shown that 69 per cent of households in Nigeria have, at least, one insecticidal net.
“Despite this, malaria, though preventable, still remains a major public health problem in Nigeria and constitutes a major barrier to socio-economic development,” he noted.
The permanent secretary called on the Taraba state government to take ownership of the campaign to ensure its sustainability.
He also charged traditional rulers and religious leaders in the state to support, not just the campaign, but also, net hanging activities in their various communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was graced by government officials, malaria partners, traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in the malaria elimination programme.