The Special Adviser, Cross River State Department of Community and Primary Health Care, Iyam Ugot has informed www.calitown.com that it is on record that CRS as the best implementing state in the Roll Back Malaria Programme, distributed 1.4 million mosquito nets in the state. First, he said, “we did a distribution to the vulnerable group; pregnant women and children under the age of 5… the Canadian Red Cross gave us a total of 580, 000 nets”.
He further informed that while the 580, 000 nets were grossly inadequate as about 600, 000 nets were needed, to make up for the shortfall, the Canadian Red Cross approached the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, which obliged the request and gave the state an additional 115, 000 nets for distribution in the state. This effort helped the state achieve 97% distribution and coverage in CRS.
On whether the end users of these nets were actually putting these nets to good use, Ugot responded that, “yes, because we did not just distribute, we did a survey whose results are available. What we did was an end process survey for the vulnerable group because at the unset of the malaria programme in 2000, the target was set that 60% of pregnant women should own and sleep inside an insecticide treated net and again children under the age of 5 should also own and sleep inside an insecticide treated net, in fact everybody in that vulnerable group should have prompt access to diagnosis and treatment of malaria with the current medication and pregnant women should also use nets and be treated with the current treatment for prevention of malaria during pregnancy. We were the first state in the federation to strictly comply and meet this target after that distribution and our records show what we have done”.
While throwing more light on the recent Aljazeera malaria treatment documentary, shot in CRS, the SA revealed that the documentary sought to show how injectable Artesunate Combination Therapy, ACT, can be used in the treatment of severe malaria. He however warned that the administration of the injectable ACT can only be used “for the management of complicated malaria”. For those who use mosquito nets for farming and other activities that are unrelated to the fight against malaria, Ugot appealed to these category of people to desist from doing so as their action is counterproductive.
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