By Lucy Ackanyon
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has flagged off mass distribution of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) in Benue State and urged people of the State to cultivate the practice of sleeping inside the nets to prevent malaria.
Governor Ortom performed the flag-off ceremony Friday at the new Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples’ House, Makurdi.
The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the Benue State Government, Prof. Tony Ijohor, appreciated the United States President Malaria Initiative (PMI) for donating 3.6 million nets to the state government for distribution to the people.
While noting that the state government has also approved 130 million naira to support the process of the net distribution, the governor expressed hope that the accelerated effort of the state government, with support of Roll Back Malaria partners to eliminate malaria, would soon yield the needed results.
“I want to urge all beneficiaries of the net distribution to ensure that they sleep in their nets correctly and consistently, in order to prevent malaria because nets are effective tool in the fight against malaria,” the governor noted.
He also called on all religious and traditional leaders in the state to create awareness among people about the distribution and importance of using sleeping in the nets.
On his part, the commissioner overseeing the Ministry of Health and Human Services, Dr Godwin Oyiwona who commended efforts of both state and Federal Ministry of Health and Roll Back Malaria partners in controlling malaria in pregnant women and children, also called on officers involved in the net distribution to ensure that every household that was mobilized, received their nets.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Andrew Amee noted that beginning from Saturday, 14th to 18th November, nets would be distributed in 1,478 distribution points across the State.
Highpoint of the flag-off was symbolic presentation of the donated nets to Governor Ortom by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, Mr Stephen Haykin, who was represented by the Regional Director, Global Health Supply Chain-Procurement and Supply (USAID GHSM-PSM), James Abu.
Ortom further performed symbolic distribution of the nets to some pregnant women and mothers of under five years old children present at the event.
The occasion also witnessed drama presentation and other demonstration on the use and maintenance of nets.