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Anambra sets up Insecticide
Treated Nets Campaign C’ttee

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By Chukwudi Nwauba

ANAMBRA State Government, through the Ministry of Health has inaugurated a 30-man Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) Campaign Coordinating Network Committee to fight malaria  across the state.

  Commissioner for Health, Vincent Okpala, while speaking during the event held in his office at Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka, urged them to ensure that the public understands the importance of the ITN distribution so as to make judicious use of it.

  “I welcome you all to this important event which will usher in the statewide Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) distribution campaign in the state which will commence May 8, and ends July 8.

  “The National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) and the Malaria Consortium, in collaboration with the state, is set to commence distribution of over 3.8million ITNs to replace those distributed in 2014.

  “It is pertinent to note that coordination of all stakeholders and partners that will be involved in this all-important activity is critical for the success of this campaign.

  “This is because delays are likely to occur and bottlenecks will not be resolved in a timely manner where coordination structures are weak or non-existent.

  “It is for this purpose that you have been called upon to be members of the ITN campaign coordination network (ICCN),” he said.

  Dr Okpala explained that the distribution of the ITN will further guarantee the drive toward

malaria elimination in the state and Nigeria at large.

  According to him, the state ICCN will be the coordinating body for the planning and implementation of the ITN mass distribution activities.

  “The members have their terms of reference as tracking progress toward implementation of the project, address bottlenecks at the highest levels and identify potential advocates to act as net Ambassadors.

  “Mobilisation of resources, monitoring and addressing security issues and planning, budgeting for distribution behaviour change communication activities to promote ITN hanging and use,” he said.

  He noted that the state had a high prevalence of malaria, which is worst in some communities like Dunukofia Local d.

Government which has the highest from the last study conducted.

  The commissioner explained that the campaign is an opportunity for the state to tap into the strong work done by the NMEP, Malaria Consortium and urged the public not to miss out.

  “We should note that the commodities to be distributed comes at a high expense, our goal as members is to truly ensure not just overseeing distribution but ensure the correct utilisation of commodities.

  “The commodities should be used appropriately so that it will deliver the objective of protecting pregnant women and children, especially those at high risk of having adverse outcomes when they have the disease,” he said.

  Malaria Consortium Senior Manager, Laitan Adeniyi said that the ICCN will be chaired by the state Commissioner for Health while the state Programme Manager is to serve as the secretary.

secretary.

  Mrs Adeniyi urged the ICCN to organise meetings at least three times during the campaign implementation period so as to receive updates on progress and potential bottlenecks in order to resolve them timely.

  Cluster Consultant, World Health Organisation (WHO), Uju Ojiagu assured the state of offering technical support during the exercise.

  Mrs Ojiagu emphasised the need to sensitise the public for them to understand the importance of owning the program.

  Members of the ICCN are Commissioner for Health-Chairman, state NMEP Coordinator-Secretary, Permanent Secretary, Academia- Prof. Dennis Aribodor, Programme Heads from the state Ministry of Health, Ministries of Information, Education, Environment and Women Affairs.   

  Others are all the security agents, Road Safety, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, market union, gender perspective and social development centres and resident partners, WHO.

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