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Over 600,000 Long Lasting Mosquito Nets Allocated To SW 

By Primus Beng & Adeline Anyifom*

Southwest Public Health Delegate, Dr John Chuwanga, has disclosed that over 600,000 long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets have been allocated for the Region.

He made the statement to The Post recently, while talking about the free distribution of these nets in the region. The distribution of the mosquito nets is part of a nation wide campaign against malaria, which Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, launched on August 20, 2011. According to the Public Health Delegate, Thursday, September 8, marked the commencement of the distribution process in the Southwest.

He said although the Southwest is starting late, as compared to other regions in the country, everything has been put in place to commence distribution. “The contractor in charge of transporting the nets to the various districts has already transferred them from the Health Delegation to Muea, the main distribution area for the Southwest.

“We are at the stage of training personnel who will be used for census, after which distribution will follow. The personnel will be taken from the various districts and trained to work in all the processes in the various areas. The stages include census, registration and distribution of nets to families who must sign in conformity of reception,” Dr. Chuwanga said.

The Delegate said the training of personnel is the responsibility of the Government and NGOs such as Global Fund, UNICEF and other partners that are active in the fight against malaria.
Dr Chuwanga insisted that every household is eligible to obtain the net with a proportion of two persons per net. Even in homes where there are no children, adults are entitled to nets. He, therefore, called on everyone to collect the net in order to make the malaria free campaign a national success.

Talking about the importance of the nets, the Delegate said it is effective in trapping and killing mosquitoes. He maintained that the net can be washed over 20 times with simple soap and not necessarily detergents. The objective of the campaign, according to Dr. Chuwanga, is to prevent 14 million citizens from malaria before December 2011.

Southwest has 18 districts where the distribution shall take place. They include:  Akwaya, Bakassi, Bangem, Buea, Ekondo Titi, Eyomujock, Fontem, Konye, Kumba, Limbe, Mamfe, Mbonge, Mundemba, Muyuka, Nguti, Tiko, Tombel and Wabanne. Regional Chief of Unit for Malaria Control, Dr Princely Shouasha, said out of 18 districts, 10 have already received the nets and what is left is registration and distribution. These districts include; Bangem, Fontem, Konye, Kumba, Limbe, Muyuka, Nguti, Tiko, Tombel and Wabanne. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Chuwanga pointed out the inaccessible nature of some roads, especially in the interior, as a major problem that might retard the smooth running of the distribution exercise.
“We are in the rainy season and vehicles might get stuck along the many muddy roads, thereby delaying delivery into the hinterlands. However, trucks will be made available to facilitate transportation.

Also, elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR, will be deployed to ensure security,” Dr. Chuwanga assured. The Delegate urged inhabitants of the region to stay calm and wait for their nets as all equipments have been put in place, and, by the end of September, the distribution would have been completed.

Although the campaign has been nationwide, with much publicity in the media, some people say they have no idea of the project, while others believe it is only for parents with children.
A Buea dweller, Delphine Ebong, told The Post that she got the news but thought it was only for those with kids.

*(UB Journalism Students On Internship)

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