…Oyetola’s wife decorated as Net Ambassador to lead campaign
Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
The Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Society for Family Health (SFH) have partnered to embark on a free distribution of 3.2 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets to all residents in Osun State to galvanise malaria control and prevention in the state.
The distribution targets the estimated 5,000 population in the state with a view to ensuring that nobody is left out of benefiting from the gesture in order to guarantee malaria prevention for all through the Roll BacK Malaria campaign initiative by the partners.
This was disclosed in Osogbo, the state capital, at the weekend when Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, the wife of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, was decorated by the SFH as Net Ambassador to lead the state-wide campaign against the scourge.
The investiture confers on her the responsibility of participation, ownership and leadership of the campaign.
Mrs Oyetola’s choice as the ambassador was motivated by her huge contributions to the welfare of women and children especially in health needs.
The Deputy Project Director of the Society for Family Health, Mr John Ocholi, said that the campaign, which was being supported by Global Funds, would be officially flagged off on October 7.
Ocholi added that the nets would be distributed to every household on house-to-house basis across the state between October 8 and 21, 2020.
During the official investiture ceremony which took place at the Government House, Osogbo, Mrs Oyetola expressed delight at her investiture as the net ambassador.
She noted that whatever guaranteed the safety and security of women and children in the state appealed to her passion.
“Kindly count on me any time you need me. I don’t joke with any issue that concerns children and women. Malaria attacks children especially the under 5 age. So, I will do the advocacy more than you expect,” the first lady, stressed.
While lauding the partners’ efforts, she noted: “We always welcome every support we can get towards malaria control. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have proven to be about the most cost-effective preventive measure against mosquito control, if used correctly. Evidence shows that a community can get rid of malaria if as much as 80 percent of the people sleep inside the net regularly, she added.”
She called on the residents to take advantage of the net:
“The government and Roll Back Malarial partners have provided Insecticide Treated Nets ( ITNS) free of charge to all households to protect you and your families from malaria. Now we can protect ourselves from malaria by hanging and sleeping inside the insecticide treated nets every night.
While explaining further the rationale behind the campaign, Ocholi noted that malaria episodes were rampant among children and women especially pregnant women.
He stressed that the first step in battling it was prevention which necessitated the distribution of the treated nets.
“We want Osun to be No1 in malaria control. This buck lies on the table of her excellency as the net ambassador,” he said.
Ocholi said the Society for Public Health officers would be in the state for 55 days to train personnel for the campaign.
“There will be about 679 supervisors across all the wards and local government areas to supervise the distribution. It is going to be a door to door distribution. Devices will be used to confirm number of residents in homes to effect the exercises.
We shall drop our phone numbers and cards for people we didn’t meet at home to call back. Then we shall return to distribute to them. Nobody will be left out of the distribution.
However, the net is not for fishing but must be used for the purpose,” Ocholi stressed.
He called on the first lady to use the net and also influence her husband to do same which would go a long way in encouraging the public to use it.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, commended the first lady for accepting to lead the campaign against malaria in the state.
He noted that it was possible for the state to get rid of malaria as Cuba and Sri Lanka had done, noting: “What we are doing here today is a step in the right direction.”