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Insecticide Treated Nets: Anambra residents recount experiences

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…say distribution of nets was timely

Lawrence Nwimo, Awka

Recent weeks in Anambra state have witnessed uncommon activities following the June 8 flag-off of the free distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITN) campaign in Anambra state.

The distribution have been ongoing since Sunday, August 7 after several weeks of preparations, advocacy visits, and stakeholder’s engagement at all level

The campaign, happening for the first time in the state since 2014, aimed at the elimination of malaria. It is being executed through a collaboration of Anambra State Government, National Malaria Elimination Programme, and Malaria Consortium, with support from GiveWell open philanthropic funding.

OrientDaily learnt that about 3.8 million treated net was mapped out for distribution and observed that the process has been ongoing through a door-to-door- approach in communities in the state.

Our correspondent who monitored the exercise in some communities observed some households airing their new nets under shades, some already hanged theirs on their sleeping areas, while others anxiously wait to receive theirs following the work plan by the distributors to visit their homes.

Obinna Onuora

Mr Obinna Onuora from Umuabiama Akwa village in Ifitedunu expressed optimism that his household will experience lesser medical attention with their constant sleeping inside the net.

“I strongly believe my family will have lesser malaria this year because we will be sleeping inside net. I have used this type of net when I lived in the North. It is a very valuable gift because it prevents mosquito from biting.

“I have a family of eight but we were given four. In that four, I made sure that they are installed in all the rooms.

“Now mosquito hardly bites me except it is outside the mosquito tent. We sleep inside the nets at night and it has been very helpful in preventing mosquito bites.”

Also, Mr Amobi Anaeto, a trader from Ukwulu town, Dunukofia LGA said mosquito is the chief cause of malaria. “Many people in my area have suffered malaria because we expose ourselves to mosquito bites. My household has experienced different different life since the net was given to us.

On her own, Mrs Chidimma Oraekem, a resident of Worriwo in Onitsha South LGA told the reporter that before the ITN distribution, her household endures sleepless night due to disturbances from mosquito.

“In the area we live, mosquito is much because of the dirty environment and at night, we do not sleep because of the disturbances. Once I hear the sound of mosquito, I hardly sleep again.”

Also speaking, Felicia Okafor of Ifite-Ukpo, who is a nursing and mother of five said,”We normally treat mosquito every three months. But now that my children are now protected from malaria and with what I have experienced using the nets in the past few days, we will have to extend the duration for our malaria treatment.”

Mr Monday Okoha, Charity Nlebedum and Godwin Okeke all residents in Onitsha Housing estate and Fegge in Onitsha South LGA, said they have been using mosquito nets before the recent distribution and that it has been helpful to their families.

They also agreed that children sleeping inside treated nets could guarantee safer health and reduce infant mortality rate in the state.

Elsewhere in Umueze-Anam, and Umuonuoha in Mmiata Anam, Anambra West, Mr Christian Nwako, and Elizabeth said the gift was timely and highlighted that mosquito is no more a threat to them because they live in agrarian area.

But they commended the donors and the state government for the massive distribution of the nets to those in the rural and hard to reach areas who cannot afford mosquito nets.

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