The Civil Society in Malaria, Control Immunisation and Nutrition has warned against the indiscriminate use of insecticide-treated nets on farmlands, the PUNCH Metro reports.

The body raised concerns about nets distributed to families for prevention against malaria being converted to temporary fences on farms.

The Executive Director of Community-Based Organisations in Gombe and State Coordinator of ACOMIN, Hassana Maisanda, noted that malaria is one of Nigeria’s major public health concerns because millions die from it annually, but that it can be mitigated and controlled through proper use of the treated nets.

According to Maisanda, Climate plays a role in the transmission of malaria, stressing that there is a connection between weather patterns and the occurrence of malaria.

She said, “The country experiences high levels of rainfall between June and September, which leads to an increase in the population of mosquitoes and in turn, increased malaria transmission during these humid months.

“Malaria incidences thrive in areas with stagnant water, poor drainage systems, and inadequate waste management. Female Anopheles mosquitoes, which carry the malaria parasite, breed in sources of stagnant water.

“To prevent an increase in the incidence rate of malaria, urgent action and collective effort from the public is needed. Sleeping inside Insecticide-Treated Nets is crucial as they provide a physical barrier against mosquitoes. These nets are effective in reducing the risk of infection, especially for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and young children.”

While decrying the challenges bedevilling the elimination of malaria, Maisanda said government at all levels should increase the budgetary allocation for hospital infrastructure and equipment, implement effective recruitment and retention strategies to attract and retain skilled healthcare professionals, and prioritize the development of reliable electricity as well as water infrastructure in healthcare facilities.

The State Programme Officer, Chuwang Samuel, said ACOMIN is working with Catholic Relief Services on the ongoing Global Fund Malaria Grant as part of the national effort to address the challenges of Malaria in Nigeria,“On the grant, ACOMIN is using the Community-Led Monitoring approach to engage community stakeholders to take ownership of health interventions, particularly on malaria, to identify gaps hindering effective malaria service delivery, jointly prioritise their needs, and advocate for improvement in malaria healthcare delivery,” Samuel said.

He noted that the initiative has brought about many advantages to communities and wards where the project is being implemented.

“These include increased ingenuity, innovation in tackling challenges, identifying and addressing the root cause of failed interventions, enhanced accountability and ownership, among others. The community-led initiative being implemented by ACOMIN has yielded successes.”

Also, the Programme Manager, Gombe State Malaria Elimination Programme, Ubayo Ali, stressed that Insecticide-treated nets should be used for the actual purpose for which it was distributed, stressing that the state government made enormous investments in its procurement.

“We distributed nets worth N1.5bn. The operational cost of only the net was N1.5b in 2021. Between 2021 and 2023, Gombe State Malaria Elimination Programme has spent over N7b,” Ali added.


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