Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi on Monday launched the national distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) in an effort to eliminate malaria in the country.
Speaking during the launch at Chapola Community ground in Group Village Head (GVH) Chapola, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chimwala in Mangochi, Muluzi said the mosquito nets will help government in the fight against malaria.
He said: “The 2018 mass net distribution campaign we are launching today is of a great importance to the masses, especially the malaria-vulnerable population of pregnant women and children. Hence, let me urge you all to access the nets and protect yourself from malaria.”
The minister said government, with support from development partners, will distribute over 10.9 million nets nationwide for three months.
Muluzi said for the last three years, Malawi has taken impressive steps in the fight against malaria, owing to collective support from community leaders, health workers, NGOs, stakeholders, among others.
He, however, warned against misusing nets for fishing and other households’ activities, saying this defeats government’s agenda of rooting out malaria.
Muluzi also warned health workers against pilfering the nets or medical drugs, saying government is alert and will arrest anybody found stealing the supplies.
In her remarks, World Vision Malawi national director Hazel Nyathi, whose organisation is tasked to monitor and coordinate the distribution of the nets, said they have trained over 30 000 health surveillance assistants and 18 000 others as trainer of trainers to help the exercise achieve its targets.
She said: “We are committed to seeing a malaria free-world; therefore, we have put in place mechanisms that will ensure that all Malawians have accessed the nets.”
Distribution of the nets will run from September 24 to November 9 this year.