From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has urged people of the state to collect and effectively use Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) to significantly reduce the menace of malaria.
Governor Bello stated this Thursday when he flagged-off the distribution of 3.7 million Insecticide Treated Nets, scale 3.0 COVID-19 vaccination and Rotavirus vaccine held at old Airport Primary Health Care Centre, Minna.
On the issue of Rotavirus vaccine, Governor Bello said it is being introduced into the national immunization schedule due to scientific evidence proving that the virus is the leading cause of diarrhea in children under five years.
He said the vaccine will be available in all government health facilities in the state for routine immunization.
“I urge you all to embrace the vaccine as they are safe, free and effective in protecting children against diarrhea,” he said.
Governor Bello stressed on the need to change the narrative of the healthcare indices to improve on the lives of the people.
“Vulnerable women and children roll back malaria and immunization are cardinal areas that requires new wave of sensitization of our people especially women to reinforce the practice that will lead to quality life,” he stated.
He reiterated his directive saying that every life must be accounted for and every death should be investigated not just the one caused by malaria, but by both negligence and human error.
“I have also directed Ministry of Health through the commissioner with relevant agencies to go round and close down all quack clinics and hospitals within the state,” he stated.
The governor went on to inaugurate the state primary health care task force formerly known as state immunization task force comprising of experienced members from both government and partners which will be headed by his deputy, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, while calling on members to bring expertise to bear for desired result.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, represented by Dr Usman Abubakar, Medical Director (MD) Federal Medical Centre, Bida said that Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Niger State Government and the Roll Back Malaria partners have put measures in place to achieve successful ITNs mass campaign in the state.
The minister appreciated the relevant stakeholders in the fight to eliminate malaria, while appealing to traditional leaders to assist in encouraging people to sleep under the net every night.
Speaking earlier, Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammed Muhammed Makusidi stated that malaria remains a major challenge in the country, hence the need to reduce malaria burden to pre-eliminating level and bring malaria related mortality to an end.
In their separate remarks, the representatives of World Health Organization, Society for Family Health and the Catholic Relief Services commended the state government for not missing out in any of the ITNs campaign procedure since its inception in 2009 and pledged their continuous support for the state to roll back malaria.
Wife of the state governor, Dr Amina Bello, was recognized as the Net Ambassador for the state while the wife of the Chanchaga Local Government chairman, Rakiya Ibrahim Lalalo was named the Net Advocate for the local government.