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“I know how dangerous Malaria is’ …says Bed net beneficiary

By Mohamed Konneh

Mano Moses proud recipient of treated bed net

 

‘I know how dangerous Malaria is and the more reason I am happy to come and collect the treated bed net. The mosquito treated bed net will protect me from malaria and not only I but my child and family as well”, said Mano Moses a young mother living in Gbombgoma village, outside Bo city.

Mano Moses is among beneficiaries of the over four million six hundred long lasting treated bed nets currently been distributed across the country.

This young mother was at the distribution center as early as 8 am on Thursday 28th May 2020 at the Gbonbgoma health center, one among many distribution points within Bo district. She told the team of journalists who visited the center that during her first pregnancy she was sick with malaria and nearly lost her baby.

“I was having frequent malaria and I was always hospitalized for malaria. The use of bed nets was not frequent because of the heat at night. But after I was adviced by nurses that the bed net will protect me from malaria, I now used it every night. The old net is no longer good enough, it has holes and cannot stop mosquitoes from entering. This is the more reason I am here and happy for the supply of new ones, she said.”

The young mother said the entire village is happy no sooner they were told about the new supply and start date for distribution.

Mano Moses is a young mother having a child and pregnant with another. She stays in Gbongboma Village, a small community outside Bo city.

Speaking earlier in Bo city, the District Medical Officer in Bo, Dr. Ronald Corshon-Marsh said they have activated all units within the Bo district for the distribution of the bed nets.

He said malaria morbidity is high in Bo and that children under five suffers the more from the illness.

“Because of the increase slums around the district malaria cases still continue. Mosquitoes breeds in poor sanitary conditions. But with the mass distribution we are sure of lowering malaria cases once again, he said.’

Dr. Carshon-Marsh noted that the council is fully onboard and that councilors are working in their communities to see that the treated bed nets are distributed freely and beneficiaries having access to it with ease.

‘While we distributes we also continue to educate communities about the importance of the bed nets and how it will protect them from malaria. This is important noting that the more people are educated about the treated bed nets the more they will be sleep under it and will not misuse it.  With this we will all be able to fight malaria in the country, he said.”

The District Medical Officer said there are now community bye-laws in place for people that might want to use the nets for the wrong reason.

During the launch of the long lasting insecticide treated bed nets at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Conference room at Youyi Building, the UNICEF representative, Rushnan Murtaza thanked the government of Sierra Leone for her tremendous effort in the fight against malaria.

She said deaths due to malaria might continue to rise during the COVID-19, when there are some disruptions to regular anti-malaria programmes, preventing the rate of infection is therefore one of the main principles interventions in the country’s malaria programme.

“It is a welcome initiative to be distributing bed nets to pregnant women and children under five – the two groups most at risk.  Specifically, the campaign aims to reach 95% of households with up to 3 bed nets and to also empower communities with correct information of the use of the nets.

The campaign period is also being used to increase awareness and improve accurate knowledge on COVID-19 prevention and containment, she said.”

She said UNICEF has already procured and distributed 1, 458 veronica buckets, which have been received by District Health Management Teams ahead of the campaign and which will help to ensure that good hygiene practices such as handwashing with soap is maintained at all distribution sites.

Sierra Leone, with a population of over 7 million, is a high burden country in which the entire population is at risk of malaria and with pregnant women and children under five years being the most vulnerable. Malaria remains one of the prime causes of deaths among children and the biggest cause for medical consultations and hospitalisations.

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.

With the cooperation and support of our international partners, the Global Fund and PMI /USAID financed the procurement and delivery of 4,601,418 Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) LLINs for the campaign. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation already mobilised resources with support from the Global Fund for the non-net cost activities.

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