The Oyo State Government on Monday commenced the distribution of five million insecticide-treated nets across the 33 Local Government Areas of the State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the distribution was launched at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, by Governor Seyi Makinde.
In his remarks at the occasion, the governor noted that the nets would improve the health of mothers and children, by reducing morbidity and mortality across the state.
Mr Makinde noted that malaria was still a public health challenge in Nigeria and Oyo state, where it was seriously challenging the health care needs of women and children, in our communities.
“This mosquito net distribution process is expected to increase awareness of communities on the appropriate knowledge, attitude and skills in preventing malaria caused by mosquito bites,” he said.
The governor pledged that his government would not relent in seeking and working with development partners and relevant organisations, as part of efforts to improve the health status of the people.
He thanked the partners involved, USAID, PMI, GHSC-PSM, & Break Through Action-Nigeria, for collaborating and supporting malaria prevention activities in the state “hence making the net distribution possible.
“This partnership has bought us together today to flag off this round of free net distribution that is conducted every four years.”
He said that his administration remained committed to the provision of good health care services for the wellbeing of the people.
Represented at the event by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola, the governor said many health interventions had been put in place to address various health challenges faced by the people.
He cited the one primary health care centre per ward as enhancing access to affordable and qualitative good health care by grassroots dwellers.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the governor on Health, Funmi Salami, disclosed that the state government had embarked on an advocacy drive in the media to create awareness in the people of the distribution periods and the benefits of making use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets in their households.
She added that field workers were also engaged in house-to-house campaigns, including the distribution of letters to residents which, according to her, would enable identified people to benefit from the laudable project.
Celeste Carr, the representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in her remarks, asserted that the best way to eliminate mosquitoes, the malaria carrier, was to put a barrier against them from dusk to dawn.
Ms Carr maintained that the intervention would curb pregnant women and children, under five years, from being easily affected by malaria, commending the State Government for its efforts in the health sector.
NAN reports that a key highlight of the occasion was the symbolic distribution of the mosquito nets to some pregnant women and other beneficiaries.(NAN)