West Pokot County has commenced distribution of 432,000 free mosquito nets in a bid to curb malaria prevalence in the region.
The National Malaria Control Programme targets to distribute 432,000 mosquito nets to 821,565 beneficiaries in 126,000 households residing in the county who were registered by the Ministry of Health staff.
West Pokot County Director of Public Health and Sensitization, Richard Kakuri speaking during the prevention of malaria stakeholders meeting held on October 25, 2021, in Kapenguria, said that the mass mosquito net distribution exercise would commence on October 28, 2021.
Kakuri underscored the value of people using mosquito nets properly saying it played a big role in the prevention of malaria caused by microscopic parasites transmitted when an individual is bitten.
However, he said public health officers have a big role in disseminating information to the entire public on the good usage of nets.
“Stakeholders have a big role in disseminating information to the entire public on good and proper usage of nets,” Kakuri said during the stakeholders’ meeting.
He noted that the National and County Governments are committed to combating the spread of malaria and urged residents to properly use the nets.
County Chief Pharmaceuticals Technologist, Mr Boaz Pkopus, said the mosquito nets distribution exercise will be conducted in 200 centres across all wards in the county which comprises hospitals, schools, churches, and chiefs’ offices.
Pkopus urges all stakeholders among them doctors, community leaders, the clergy, business people, and media to assist in sensitizing the entire public to step up the fight against malaria.
“All mosquito nets donated by the government to residents will be distributed to all registered householder members and they will collect them at the County and National Government facilities and some schools, churches, and chiefs’ offices,” Pkopus said.
“West Pokot County is listed as a high epidemic-prone area to malaria diseases among other counties including Narok, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Baringo county,” according to the CEC for health and sanitation Ms Christine Apokoreng.
In September of this year, the National Government through National Malaria Control Programme with support from partners including USAID PMI and Global funds donated 10,800 bales of mosquito nets to be distributed to residents of West Pokot County.
Addressing the press in September when she was receiving the mosquito nets, the County Health and Sanitation CEC, said malaria is a public health concern in Kenya and remained the leading cause of morbidity and mortality since it was listed among the top 10 causes for most outpatient visits countywide.
By Anthony Melly and Robert Kiprop