Malaria take a toll on the country’s economy, Mr. Eyo of the National Malaria Control Department said.
Nigeria loses an estimated N480 billion to absenteeism from work, schools, farms and markets, occasioned by malaria afflicting many of its citizens, an expert, Ene Eyo, has said.
Mr. Eyo, who works at the National Malaria Control Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, said the disease is already taking its toll on the nation’s economy as it has resulted in low productivity among the workforce.
Mr. Eyo, who spoke as guest speaker at a “Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets Distribution Campaign” media parley in Lokoja on Sunday, noted that the amount included the cost of prevention and treatment of malaria and man-hour loss.
According to him, malaria has also forced a change in the direction of finances in the health sector– from maintenance to treatment.
In response to the challenge posed by the scourge, Mr. Eyo said that the Federal Government had so far distributed 51.7 million pieces of long lasting insecticidal nets across 32 states of the federation free.
He said the process of extending the nets to the remaining four states of Kogi, Osun and two others, had commenced with campaign parley with the media.
Mr. Eyo disclosed that 1.5 million pieces of long lasting insecticidal nets had been allocated for distribution in Kogi, and that the number allocated was based on the 2006 population census figure which put the state population at 3.9 million people.
For effective control of the disease, he insisted that 80 per cent of the nets being distributed must be put to use by the beneficiaries.
In a speech at the event, the Kogi State health educator, Blessing Ameh, said that the state had commenced household mobilization and registration for the distribution of the nets in all its 21 local government areas.
Under the arrangement being put in place, she stated that households would be registered and issued with cards, which they would in turn take to any of the distribution points for the collection of the nets.
Each household would get two nets, she said.
Already, the health educator said, 12, 000 personnel had been recruited and trained to handle the distribution in all the various wards, saying that 18 personnel will be deployed to each ward for effective distribution and campaign.
Mr. Ameh urged the media, faith-based groups and the relevant non-governmental organizations to join the national crusade for a malarial-free Nigeria.
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