Group of civil society organisations have blamed the abuse and wrong use of treated mosquito nets for the inability to bring Malaria and related ailments affecting rural dwellers in parts of Niger state under control.
According to the state Coordinator, Association of Civil Society Working on Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), Mr. Olasunkanmi Kalejaiye this trend has become worrisome.
While speaking at a one day stakeholders’ meeting in Minna, he told journalists that efforts have been made by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the improvement of health care in rural areas in the state.
He said while most communities have access to mosquito nets courtesy of Global Funds and Partners, it is however surprising that instead of using it to protect themselves against malaria parasites, they used the nets to cover their farms, gardens and as curtains for their rooms.
Kalejaiye told journalists that ACOMIN, working in close collaboration with Niger state Ministry of Health, Malaria Elimination Programme, Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) and Roll Back Malaria project also discovered that poor funding is further compounding the situation.
Most of the Primary Health Care Development Agencies (PHCDA) are in deplorable condition and under staffed, this according to Kalejaiye has made it impossible for the locals to be enlightened on how not to use the long lasting insecticide nets from the donor agencies.
“To achieve better results in the phase of the project several challenges such as; misuse of the long lasting insecticide nets purchased with huge resources from Global Funds and other Partners and dilapidated or abandoned health facilities should be addressed”.
The situation is further compounded by, “Inadequate human resources due to non-employment of qualified medical personnel and non-allocation of resources and specific budget for malaria interventions at the Local Government level caused by low political will”.
Kalejaiye who expressed concerns over spate of insecurity impeding the actualizing of an end to malaria is soliciting for the support and cooperation of journalists in the fight against malaria by amplifying the need for increased funding of malaria interventions by all tiers of government.
Also speaking, Alhaji Dangana Abubarkar, representing the Ward Head of Chanchaga Local Government Area, in a remark commended ACOMIN and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for championing the cause of the masses, particularly rural dwellers on issues concerning their health wellbeing.