To reduce the spread of malaria in the country, Plan International, a development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Straks, a local non-governmental organization focusing on health awareness, is training Liberians in all 15 counties to carry on distribution and education on the use of mosquito nets to 2.6 million people across the country.
Mr. Emmanuel R. Kone, Deputy Chief of Party for Plan International, speaking at the opening of the workshop on Monday, April 24, in Sinkor, Monrovia, said distributing nets is one aspect but the major challenge is the usage of the nets.
He told the trainees, who were more than 60 in number, that at the end of the training, their job would be to educate the public on the importance of the nets. “I am urging every one of you to encourage our brothers and sisters to sleep under mosquito nets,” he added.
He informed them that people in rural communities misuse mosquito nets to make a gardens, to tie the roofs of their huts and therefore they must encourage them to use the nets for the reason that they are provided. “You must educate them not to use the nets to cover dead bodies and also not to use them to fish,” he noted.
Mr. Kone told them that those in central Monrovia have the nets available in their homes, but they are not using them for its intended purpose.
He said the distribution of the net will commence on Thursday, April 26. “I expect every one of you to be an agent of change to stop the spread of malaria in Liberia.”
Mr. Kone said nets will only be given to those that have tickets because every community will have its distribution site to pick up the nets and it will be accessible to every resident.
“I hope the distribution of the nets will be able to reduce the increase of malaria in Liberia because the distribution is a national event to end malaria. The campaign will be launched on April 25, which is also the World Malaria day,” Mr. Kone said.
Dr. Augustine N. Fannieh, chairman of the board of directors of Straks, said malaria is common and the number one killer disease in pregnant women and young children under 5 years of age in Liberia in most African countries.
According to him, in an effort to reduce this disease Straks strongly believes that the preventative method of malaria control will help reduce the mortality rate in Africa.
He told the trainees that the distribution of the nets has been very important, but people in the rural areas are misusing the nets, which greatly contributes to the spread of malaria.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease and it is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito.