By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners, will embark on a nationwide distribution of 5,345,236 free treated mosquito nets.
According to the Programme Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdul Mac Falama, the goal of the distribution campaign is to achieve 80% population access to effective mosquito net.
He said the objective of the bed net distribution is to register at least 95% of households in the country and at least 80% in Western Area Urban.
He added that they want to ensure that 95% of the registered households receive vouchers for ITNs, ensure that at least 80% of the households that receive ITNs are hanging and using them and ensure that at least 95% of households are reached with social and behaviour change communication messages for improved health and health-seeking behavior.
He further said that the strategy for the campaign is a household-based distribution in which households will be registered and issued vouchers which will be used to claim the treated mosquito nets at the distribution sites.
He said the distribution of the net will be done at specific sites (static, outreach and mobile) and key messages on malaria, proper net use, care, repair and repurposing will be delivered at each distribution point, with a maximum of three treated mosquito nets to a household.
He pointed out that one to two persons in a household will be eligible to one mosquito net, and three to four persons in a household will be eligible to two mosquito nets and five or more persons will be eligible to three mosquito nets.
Dr. Mac Falama said that the different campaign activities or components will include household registration, distribution of ITNs, logistics and ITN tracking, independent monitoring and supervision.
He concluded that, the campaign will be piloted in Bo district and lessons learnt will be used to roll out to the remaining 15 districts later in the year.
Malaria Techincal Officer, WHO, Dr. Wunmi Omoniwa, said Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress in reducing under-five mortality, achieving a remarkable 60% reduction between 1990 and 2021.
She said despite the effort, the country still bears one of the highest under-five morality rate globally added that they must be resolute in our efforts to attain the sustainable (SDG) target of 25 or less under-five death per 1000 live births by 2030.