VP Foh cautions against misuse
May 26, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The National Malaria Control Programme of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, with support from partners, has put modalities in place to commence a nationwide mass distribution of 4.3million treated mosquito bed nets.
The aim of the planned mass distribution campaign, which will run from June 1 to 10, is to ensure a swift reduction in morbidity and child mortality rate in the country, as well preventing the spread of malaria, which is a leading cause of deaths among children and mothers.
During a presser hosted on the planned event, Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh, cautioned against the misuse of the insecticide treated bed nets by beneficiaries.
He stated that the bed nets, which will be distributed to every household in the country, should not be used for fishing and other activities, but rather to prevent mosquito bites and spread of the disease.
“I urge all beneficiaries to use the bed nets for the intended purpose, because it’s cost a lot of money. If the nets are used for other purposes, it will endanger more lives rather than preventing the spread of malaria,” he said.
While reiterating government support to ensure the success of the campaign, the vice president urged sierra Leoneans, especially journalists to expose those using the bed nets for fishing, among other purposes.
He noted that the campaign should go beyond the distribution and called on the ministry and its partners to ensure that people live in a healthy environment.
“The gutters and other unhealthy places are breeding ground for mosquitoes, so we must live in healthy surroundings. I think emphasis should be placed on health and sanitation. Malaria is killing the biggest number of our people, especially mothers and children,” Vice President Foh said.
Also speaking was the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Guy Warrington, who noted that the United Kingdom has a longstanding commitment to the health sector, and that much of their work focused on protecting the most vulnerable.
He said as part of their 240millon pounds commitment to the president’s recovery programme, they have been working with the government to strengthen health systems, expand access to family planning and provide free healthcare to children, pregnant and lactating women.
“Malaria is a killer disease. Mothers and children are particularly vulnerable and must be protected. UK Aid in Sierra Leone has provided 5.7million pounds to procure half of the bed nets that will be distributed across the country during this campaign,” he disclosed.
According to him, their support to the campaign would save lives of women and children in the country and it is part of their 240mllion pounds support to the President’s Recovery Priorities.
Program Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme, Dr. Samuel Smith, stated that the effective use of bed nets by beneficiaries will help reduce the malaria burden on the country.
He disclosed that the British Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Fund provided the funds for the procurement of the mosquito treated bed nets.