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3 Million bed nets for MCH Week

By Bampia James Bundu

Three million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLIN) will be distributed across the country during this year's Maternal and Child Health Week (MCHW 5th - 11th June), according to the Ministry of Health.

Addressing a news conference yesterday in Freetown, the National Malaria Control Programme Manager, Dr. Samuel Juana Smith, said "with support from numerous partners, the ministry had been engaged in an integrated house-to-house campaign to deliver various packages of interventions since 2006 and through the biannual MCHW since 2008".

He said the goal of the week was to reduce morbidity and mortality in children below the age of 5 years “by achieving high coverage of Vitamin A, Albendazole for treatment of intestinal worms and to reduce morbidity and morbidity for malaria by mass distribution and use of the LLINS".

Smith explained that they would ensure a massive distribution of the Vitamin A to children between 6 and 59 months, and also provide Albendazole to children from 12-59 months across the country. He said, "we will ensure every household receives one LLIN net and uses it for its intended purpose".

Dr. Smith said the bed nets were effective, efficient and cost-effective to control malaria.

Programme Manager of the extended programme on child health, Dr. Sartie Kenneh said they were using the 2004 national census figures to distribute the bed nets across the country.

He revealed that each of the bed nets cost about four US dollars and appealed to "all Sierra Leoneans to use them to stop mosquitoes and help reduce maternal and mortality rates in the country". Dr. Kenneh said they would monitor the distribution of the nets, and "after six months a special monitoring team will do a random check to ascertain whether people are using the nets or not".

(C) Politico 03/06/14