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Gombe Govt flags-off ITN, SMC mass campaigns

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Gombe Govt flags-off ITN, SMC mass campaigns

By Matthew Eloyi

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has officially flagged-off the distribution of free Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) and Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SPAQ) for Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) in the State.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony in Gombe on Monday, the Governor said malaria continued to be a major Public Health hazard globally, particularly in Africa. Citing the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS 2018), Gov. Yahaya said malaria was known to be one of the leading causes of the deaths, particularly among children under 5 years and pregnant women.

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The disease, according to the Governor, overburdens the public health system and exerts severe social and economic burden on the nation. He added that it was estimated that malaria retards the gross domestic product (GDP) by 40% annually and costs appropriately 480 billion naira in out-of-pocket expenditure and loss of man hours.

He however, noted that malaria was preventable and curable, and expressed delight that there has been a reduction in malaria-related deaths over the years.

“I am happy to note that this decline in the number of deaths due to malaria in Nigeria (which now accounts for 2 out of 10 deaths in Children under 5 years) was made possible due to the collective efforts of all the partners some of whom are present with us here today. The use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and the administration of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) medicines have been proven to be among the most durable and cost-effective malaria preventive interventions,” he said.

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The Governor reiterated that the provision of affordable and accessible healthcare is one of the core priorities of his administration, adding that the government has approved the use of over 580 health facilities, deployed over 2000 health workers and provided all the requisite financial and operational supports to ensure the successful implementation of the malaria intervention campaign.

“On this note, Government of Gombe State in partnership with the Global Fund will officially flag-off these two campaigns that will signal the commencement of distribution of over 2.3 million nets to the people of Gombe State on a door-to-door basis and using same approach to administer SPAQ for seasonal malaria chemoprevention to 796,988 children per month for a period of four (4) months across all the 11 Local Government Areas in the State,” he added.

He also called on good-spirited individuals and corporate organizations to complement Government’s efforts in malaria control through the provisions of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs); Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) for Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) for Pregnant Women; Chemicals and Equipment for Indoor Residual Spray (IRS); and anti-malarial drugs like Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT) among others.

The Governor further called on traditional rulers and religious leaders to join hands with the Government in the fight against malaria by keeping the environment clean and complying with general environmental and health regulations.

Gombe Govt flags-off ITN, SMC mass campaigns

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