By Peter Title
Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State on Monday in Jos flagged off the distribution of free Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs)to the people of the state with a charge on them to put the nets into proper usage assuring that government would continue to pay its counterpart for the health benefits of it’s citizens.
Flagging off the distribution of the nets at the premises of Jos International Breweries Limited (JIB),the governor said despite the lean resources of the government, he would always channel the little accrued to the health needs of the people.
Represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Professor Sonni Tyoden,the governor said the deaths usually associated to Malaria has been drastically reduced and further called on people to ensure cleanliness and free flow of water in their various environments.
“Usage of the nets is more important than the collection if it is not used. Please ensure that you use it if we must achieve what we are here for,” he stressed.
The Governor enjoined the Ministries of Information and Health to collaborate and ensure they propagate the message of the importance of using the nets to the nooks and crannies of the state.
He tasked traditional rulers also not to relent in that direction but to ensure that their subjects adhered to the usage of the nets.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar Ndam said 2.5 million long lasting insecticidal nets would be distributed in the state and urged people to take advantage of the gesture.
Dr Ndam appreciated the gesture of their partners saying the nets have greatly reduced the prevalence of Malaria in the state and further explained that public health institutions in an efforts to curbing the menace offer free treated nets to the public.
He thanked the state government for timely release of their counterpart saying it has gone greatly in easing the elimination of Malaria.
The Health Commissioner used the occasion to appreciate their partners, the WHO, USAID,GSHC,PSM and BA-N assuring that the partnership had come to stay.
In a goodwill messages, the Mission Director, USAID Nigeria, Mr Stephen Haykin and who was represented by Mr Jonathan Kon said since 2011they have partnering with the state government and have so far spent over 100 million dollars for the prevention of Malaria in Africa..
According to him ,Malaria has remained the major killer of children hence the proper usage of the net by all.
Mr Mike Egboh,Country Director, Global Health Supply Chain Procurement Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) said they haven in the state for a long period and have enjoyed working with the government.
He called on all the government to ensure strict distribution and supervision of the nets to ensure proper utilization as well to ensure they released the remaining N60m counterpart.
The World Health Organization (WHO)representative, Pharmacist Kanayo Okonkwo said they had enjoyed working with the Plateau State Government and promised to further put their bestin order to achieve their goal.q
In a remark, Dr Audu Bala Mohammed, National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health noted that their was tremendous achievement so far and urged not to relent in the task ahead.
The Governor also decorated the USAID Mission Director, Mr Stephen M.Haykin as Net Ambassador with traditional regalia.