Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Health partners in the fight against Malaria have commended what they described as the aggressive and significant efforts of the Benue State government towards ensuring reduction of Malaria infection in the state.
The partners including, Global Health Supply Chain, US Presidential Malaria Initiative, PMI and Breakthrough Action gave the commendation at a media orientation on Insecticidal Treated Nets (ITN) campaign held at the NUJ House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Monday.
According to the State Coordinator Breakthrough Action, Dominic Usman, Benue State ranked number one in the North Central in the area of active participation especially in the release of funds and recruitment of trainees as well as available personnel.
“Benue State scores 100 percent in active participation in the reduction of Malaria. The State has indeed taken the bull by the horn. There has also, been adequate community mobilization that has seen an increase in the utilization of ITN”, Usman stated.
He recalled that in 2016, over 1.4 million Insecticidal Treated Nets were distributed in Benue adding that more than 3.6 million Nets would be distributed in 2020 in the State from 14th to 18th October, 2020.
Usman further explained that the objective of the orientation is to re-orientate journalists on Malaria prevention and control with specific emphasis on ITN, adding that it is meant to explain the importance of the implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is to motivate journalists to develop interest in the coverage and reporting of the campaign, pre, during and post campaign activities. It is to get journalists to join in the National crusade for a Malaria free Nigeria.
On his part, Benue State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikwulono who acknowledged the role of the partners in the fight against Malaria in the State, posited that the efforts had paid off with increased utilization of mosquito treated nets in the state.
He explained further that Malaria infection has also, dropped from 43 percent to 14 percent even as according to him, the National Demographic Health Survey has shown that Benue has witnessed 66 percent Mosquito Net utilization.
“The desire of the State government is to ensure that there is 100 percent net utilization. Thus, the need for adequate advocacy to ensure that the campaign gets to all the nooks and crannies of the State,” Ikwulono said.