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Ministry of Health to distribute 4.6 Million treated bed nets

By Mohamed Konneh

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation will begin the distribution of treated bed nets across the country. A total of 4.6 million treated bed nets will be distributed all in a bid to control malaria.

This was made known on Thursday 14th May 2020 at the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communication.

Briefing the media, the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1, Dr. Sandi said Sierra Leone will once again witness a mass distribution of treated bed nets, noting that in pursuance of the ministry’s mandate the distribution will be done during this period.

He said the mass distribution of long lasting insecticide treated bed nets is one of the strategies identified in the President’s priorities for health and part of the Ministry of Health’s performance tracking tools.

He said malaria prevalence is still high and remains a major public health problem in Africa and Sierra Leone in particular and constitutes a major barrier to social and economic development.

He said the entire population in Sierra Leone is at risk of malaria while children and pregnant women are seen to be particularly susceptible and more vulnerable to this disease.

This he said calls for a sober reflection and underscores the need to use the opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic to examine where the need to redouble effort at all levels.

‘The preventable and treatable disease continues to kill one child every 2 minutes for lack of a simple, cost-effective tools like an insecticide treated net or a sample course of effective treatment.

He said in Sierra Leone malaria remains one of the prime causes of death among children and the biggest cause for medical consultations and hospitalization.

“Malaria is responsible for 47 percent of the out-patients visits by children under five years to health facilities, malaria accounts for 38 percent of the out-patient visit for all ages to health facilities, malaria accounts for 36.7 percent of all hospitalization, malaria accounts for 35.3 percent of death in children under five year and 20.5 percent of death attributed to malaria for all ages, the Deputy Minister said.

Dr. Sandi said over the past two decades the National Malaria Control Programme of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with partners have done substantial work to dramatically prevent and control the disease, and progress is tangible and visible in communities.

He said from 2010 to 2018, the number of deaths was more than halved and the number of malaria cases dropped by 20 percent, indicating that with the right interventions and multi-sectoral commitments further progress is possible.

“We cannot let this incredible progress be undermined by the corona virus pandemic and must maintain and accelerate progress towards malaria elimination with more determination than ever,” he said.

 

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