Nigeria begins production of Insecticide treated bed nets

Gloria Essien, Abuja

Treated mosquito bed nets

A Nigerian Company, Dawanets has commenced the production of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Bed Nets, LLITN.

Dawanets is based in Aba, Abia State.

The Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole said this at event held in Abuja to mark the World Malaria Day.

Professor Adewole says “Nigeria needs about 30 million nets every year and manufacturing the nets in Nigeria will boost the economy and prevent malaria.’’

According to him, malaria is responsible for around 60% of the out-patient visits to health facilities, 30% of childhood death, 25% of death in children under one year and 11% of maternal deaths.

“About 70% of pregnant women suffer from malaria, which contributes to maternal anaemia, low birth weight, stillbirths, abortions and other pregnancy-related complications,’’ he stated.

Working together
The minister called on Nigerians to join hands with the government and donor agencies to tackle malaria outbreaks.

He said Nigeria has lost a lot to Malaria outbreak.

“The financial loss due to malaria is estimated to be about 300 billion Naira ($797 million) annually in form of treatment costs, prevention costs and loss of man-hours. Malaria is one of the principal reasons for poor school attendance in many settings because it accounts for 13 to 15 percent of medical reasons for absenteeism from school,” the minister explained.

Professor Adewole stressed that globally,“3.4 billion people were at risk of the disease malaria with 1.2 billion people at higher risk. Thus, malaria is still a major public health concern particularly in Africa especially in Nigeria.’’

Sentinel sites
The minster also said that in responds to the World Health Organisation’s recommendation, Nigeria has established sentinel sites in the six geopolitical zones while additional funds has been secured from the Global Fund under the New Funding Mechanism for the establishment of six additional sites.

“Considering the huge size of the country, there is need to urgently establish additional sentinel sites to meet the demand of this strategy…In our effort to ensure malaria commodity security and effective treatment, we were able to distribute through the health system pipelines over 30 million doses of Artemisinin Combination Therapy, ACTs and over 28million units of Rapid Diagnostic Tests, RDTs have been procured for delivery to states. Capacity has been built in 36 states including FCT on Malaria Commodity Logistic System to improve on the quality of consumption data that is available for decision making. States specific quantification and gaps analysis had been carried out which provides the tool for advocacy and effective planning,’’ Professor Adewole explained.

The World Health Organisation Representative, Dr. Rex Mpazanje said that the World Malria Day provided an opportunity to celebrate the success attained in malaria control over the past years.

He said that Nigeria has shown so much enthusiasm to end malaria.

The key message this year is to remind us all that, reducing and eliminating malaria creates healthier, more equitable and prosperous societies and promotes a broadly inclusive and multi-sectoral response; we can collectively Free Nigeria of the burden of Malaria and WHO is always willing to assist,’’ Dr. Mpazanje said.

The theme for this year celebration is End Malaria for Good,” with an accompanying slogan “What is your role”.

Mercy Chukwudiebere