A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Global Fund, in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), has praised Ogun State residents who trooped out in large number to collect Long Lasting Insticide-Treated Nets (LLITN) cards, aimed at eliminating the malaria across the state .
One of the CRS Project Officers, Mrs. Orezi Nicholas Adhekoyibo said during the assessment tour of Mowe, Ibafo, and Mokolokin in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, that malaria is a major health challenge that hinders development, especially in Africa, where over a million lives, including expectant mothers and children under five, are affected.
She said to curb the spread of the disease, the Federal Government and some international organisations, including Global Fund and CRS, stepped up advocacies to ensure people were adequately sensitised on preventive measure and how to get treated if affected.
She said the disease remains one of the biggest challenges, which cause 11 per cent of maternal mortality in the country, adding that the Federal Government and key stakeholders were making efforts to ensure that the rate at which the disease spread is reduced maximally, if not eliminated.
One of the mobilisers, a health worker, Mrs. Onye Victoria said the level of compliance by the people was highly impressive, adding that the residents were ready to collect the cards.
“Gone are the days when people said they didn’t get anything from the government except money. As you can see, people are willing to get the cards; even if they were not around and get to know that one mobiliser is in their area, they will quickly come back and request for their own card,” she said.
Two beneficiaries of the LLIN cards, Mr. Adelaja Kolawole and Mrs. Olaonipekun Mojisola, praised the government and its partners for the initiative, pledging their readiness to make wise use of the treated mosquito nets.
Earlier, the Malaria Focal Persons of the areas, Mrs. Grace Oluwayemisi Olowu and Mrs. Kolashi Deborah Iyabo hailed the initiative of the government and its partners, especially for the strides recorded so far.
They added that one of the major measures through which the spread of deadly disease (malaria) could be curbed was the use of LLIN, advising the people not to keep it up somewhere, but ensuring that they sleep under it as well.
They urged the CRS to find lasting solutions to the people of remote areas, noting that some of the mobilisers were unwilling to visit those areas because of their high fare, and those being persuaded to the catchment areas spent not less than N5,000.
Some residents lauded the government and Global Fund for the distribution of the nets across the three Senatorial Districts of the state.
The exercise, which took place simultaneously at three Senatorial districts of the state, Ogun East, Ogun West and Ogun Central, witnessed a large turnout of residents, who expressed their delight for the programme.
They noted that the gesture would save them time and money in buying the nets as it comes at an appropriate time – during the rainy season.
Mr. Dada Israel, a resident of Liberty Junction, Oru-Ijebu and Mrs. Adelani Akintunde of Sango, commended Global Fund and CRS for the initiative, noting that the proper use of the nets would help them avoid mosquito bites and avert spread of malaria.
According to the residents, “malaria was caused by a bite from an infected female mosquito (anmovelis), which carries a germs that cause the disease, noting that it’s preventable, if someone can sleep under the LLIMN wanted to distribute to the residents of the state.”
They hailed the gesture of the government and the donor for bringing the exercise to their door steps instead of purchasing the net, pledging their support for the both government and Global Fund agents through out their work.
A Technical Consultant on the project, Mrs. Wasila Kolo commended the residents for co-operating with the household mobilisers, noting that this showed that the programme was well accepted.
Mrs Kolo assured that the strategy employed this year, which involved the use an android device for mobilisation and distribution of the free long lasting nets, would ensure the right household gets the right quantity of nets, thereby promoting accountability.
She advised the residents to keep their cards as it would help them in collecting their nets during the period of distribution, promising that no household would be left untouched during the exercise.
Areas visited include Oke-Ilewo, Olomore, Abule Olomore, Ita-Oshin, Adeun, Rounder in Abeokuta axis while Yewa Axis were Sango, Ota, Ilogbo, Owode, Oju-ore, Iju, Atan and Ago-Iwoye, Orun, Ijebu-Igbo, Ijebu-Ode, Awa-Oru Ijebu in Ijebu axis.
The mobilisation would hold for nine days.