Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to prioritizing the health and wellbeing of the people of the state.
He expressed the commitment during the flag off of the 2020 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets distribution campaign in the state currently anchored by the state government and the Society for Family Health.
Daily Sun gathered that the nets would be distributed to every household free of charge to ensure that nobody is left out of the sharing and able to enjoy the privilege of its malaria prevention and control benefits.
The nets which will be distributed to a target population of five million were provided by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Global Fund and the Catholic Relief Services Society for Family Health (SFH).
We also gathered that the distribution of the insecticide-impregnated nets is a part of the State Malaria Elimination Programme ( SMEP) to ensure prevention of malaria-related deaths, especially among children and pregnant women.
Oyetola who was represented at the flag off ceremony by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Wole Oyebamiji, stressed that the development agenda of his administration was anchored on the people whose heath remains a priority to his government.
“As a government, we have always put the health of our people first and we anchor our development agenda on them, taking care of their health, capacity and welfare on all fronts for the whole purpose of building a prosperous state and offering them the good life,” the governor noted.
Oyetola who also stressed the importance of using the insecticide-treated nets in the fight against malaria, added that the government will support every effort to ensure its distribution and adequate use.
Recall that the Federal Government and its Roll Back Malaria partners had, last month, donated about 3.2 million insecticide-treated nets to Osun State when the First Lady of the State of Osun, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, also became the Net Ambassador of the state.
Oyetola further stated: “Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have proved to be about the most cost-effective malaria prevention and control measure if used correctly. This is evidenced by a study which shows that a community can get rid of malaria if as much as 80 percent of the people sleep inside the net regularly.”
“We are going to be supporting all efforts to support its distribution and correct use for the protection of our children and pregnant women and indeed, every citizen and resident of the State of Osun,” he added.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire MD said Osun State was one of the six states selected to benefit from the 2020 mass Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITNs) distribution campaigns.
Ehanire maintained that the deployment of new generation net in the state was based on the entomological and insecticide residence monitoring studies in the state from vector surveillance activities in the state sentinel site.
“There has been significant reduction in malaria cases in the country as recorded in the recently disseminated Nigeria Democratic Health Survey (DHS) 2018 where prevalence in children under 5 years dropped to 23% from the 42% recorded in the 2010 malaria Indicator Survey (MIS),” he noted.
“Two Local Government Areas ( Ife North and Ejigbo ) will simultaneously be used to carry out the new net project evaluation that will involve monitoring the impact of the new generation ITNs on malaria indicators ( epidemiological and entomological ),” he added.
“The highlight of these activities was the volunteering by her Excellency, the First Lady of Osun State, Kafayat Oyetola as the Net Ambassador for Osun State. Her acceptance of this role would in no doubt promote the proper use of the ITNs among the people of Osun State, he said.”
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Isamotu Rafiu, commended the Federal Ministry of Heath, Global Fund, Society for Family Health, Catholic Relief Serves and other partners for their contributions to making distribution of the long lasting insecticidal nets in Osun State possible.
He enjoined the people of the state to take full advantage of the nets by using it properly for the purpose it was intended to achieve.
“The only way we can pay back the partners and the Federal Ministry of Health is for us to sleep under the nets, reduce the scourge of malaria and improve our health indices,” Isamotu added.
However, the Project Director for Society for Family Health, Dr. Ernest Nwokolo said
that about 2,000 National Youths Service Corps members would work with the health agency with a view to ensuring that the nets get to every household.
“The Society For Family Health is the implementing partner in Osun state and everything is ready. We have close to 2,000 teams that are going to move from house to house in two weeks to carry out the distribution exercise,” he said.