A consignment of at least 2.8 million mosquito nets has arrived in the country for distribution to households across the 15 political subdivisions, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced. The mosquito nets are free of charge and distribution will begin Saturday, April 25 to coincide with World Malaria Day which a proclamation by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared a working holiday to be observed throughout Liberia.
According to the Proclamation, April 25, is the 8th World Malaria Day, which will be celebrated under the global theme: "Invest In The Future, Defeat Malaria," and the local slogan "No Mosquito, No Malaria."
The consignment of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets (LLINs) donated by the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) in Liberia, is the largest single donation of LLINs since the start of the Global Fund Project in Liberia in 2005.
According to a release from the MOH, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will launch the campaign for the distribution of the 2.8 million mosquito nets during an indoor program at the Monrovia City Hall tomorrow.
The President is expected to be joined by US Ambassador Deborah Malac, Chairmen of the Senate and House’s Committees on Health, Senator Dr. Peter S. Coleman, and Representative Johnson Toe Chea, Health Minister Walter T. Gwenigale and Fund Portfolio Manager for the Global Fund, Noah Zahbrobsky.
Others expected at the mosquito net distribution launch are Mr. Koala Oumarou, Country Director, Plan Liberia and Dr. Claude Emile Rwagacacondo, Roll Back Malaria Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa, among others.
MOH in partnership with Plan Liberia and other partners will follow in the President’s footstep to launch the distribution of the nets, too.
The campaign intends to mainly target “those worst affected by malaria: pregnant women and children under five.”
In Africa, malaria deaths have been cut by one third within the last decade and outside of Africa, 35 out of the 53 countries with access to malaria control interventions have reduced cases by 50 percent. In the same period, countries where access to malaria control interventions have improved most significantly, overall child mortality rates have fallen by approximately 20 percent.
According to research, continued investment in malaria control propels malaria-endemic countries along the path to achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to improving child survival and maternal health, eradicating extreme poverty and expanding access to education.
The Liberian Government, realizing the significance of protecting the wellbeing of its citizens and foreign residents, has ratified the Convention on the Right of the Child to good health and nutrition and, as a member of the World Health Organization (WHO), will join other global health partners in supporting all health programs.
The President has requested the MOH and other government agencies, as well as international organizations concerned to initiate and execute programs to make the World Malaria Day meaningful.
Cognizant of the harmful effects and burden malaria poses on the human race, particularly in Africa, a Resolution declaring April 25 of each year as Africa Malaria Day, amended as World Malaria Day, was adopted by the Summit of African Heads of State of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU) to initiate and implement Plans of Action that would curtail malaria and malaria-related mortality in Africa.