By Rita Iliya
Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has inaugurated the mass distribution of 3.7 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) across the state.
Sani-Bello said on Thursday in Minna that the nets were provided in collaboration with some organisations to reduce malaria prevalence in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the organisations include the National Malaria Elimination Programme, Society for Family Health (SHF), Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and Chemonics, with support from Global Fund.
“These health interventions are coming at a time that we need to change the narrative of the healthcare indices for the improved healthcare of the people.
“And improve the quality of lives especially among women and children,’’ he said.
The governor directed the state ministry of health and its relevant agencies to close down all illegal clinics and hospitals in the state.
According to him, the illegal health facilities are responsible for most deaths in the state.
“Every life in the state must be accounted for and every death should be investigated,” Sani-Bello said, adding that such facilities operate without required manpower, capacity and equipment.
He emphasised that the ministry must investigate all deaths in such facilities to determine where it was caused by malaria or other diseases, negligence or human error.
In his address, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the use of ITN was a key strategy for the prevention and elimination of malaria.
Ehanire, represented by Dr Abubakar Usman, Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, said Niger, Delta, Kaduna, Taraba, Yobe, Kano and Anambra benefited from the 2022 malaria intervention in the country.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Maikudi, Commissioner for Health, said that the distribution of the mosquito nets was to reduce the prevalence of malaria in the state to 33 per cent.
In her goodwill message, Dr Jennifer Anyanti, Deputy Managing Director, SFH, commended Global Fund and CRS for the efforts to reduce the rate of mortality and morbidity caused by malaria in the state.
Also, Mr Emmanuel Abuh of Information Communication Technology for Development, said they have deployed about 2,500 devices to ensure effective and seamless distribution of the ITN.