Kisumu County Health department plans to distribute 793,000 insecticide treated mosquito nets for free to bolster the fight against malaria.
The program dubbed universal net coverage targets the 1.19 million people residing in the county.
Speaking on Thursday Kisumu County Malaria Control Program Coordinator Dr Lilyana Dayo revealed that the mass net distribution would commence on 19th of this month.
Dayo said that the program which is carried out after every three years would have been done in June 2020 but was halted following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We received the consignment in June 2020 and has been safely stored at a secured location awaiting the distribution,” said Dayo, adding that in some counties like Migori the nets were stolen.
Dayo said training for the Health workers who will help in giving out the commodity was slated to kick off on Friday, 9th April adding: “The program is also being coordinated by the National Malaria Control Committee and many other stakeholders and is carried out in all counties that are malaria-endemic.”
She said collection of the treated bed nets will be conducted at various identified posts which include schools, churches, and chiefs’ offices in the area. “Covid-19 containment protocols are to be observed strictly during both the registration and collection processes,” she noted.
Dayo said the collection points have also been increased to avoid crowding at particular areas while the personnel involved in conducting the process are to mask, take daily temperature checks and self-screen to prevent them from contracting and spreading the virus as they discharge their mandates. Besides, she added, the collection points will be spacious halls or open fields with hand washing areas.
The main challenge faced in the containment of malaria in the county was the misuse of treated mosquito nets as some people use them for fishing or enclosing kitchen gardens thus disregarding their intended purpose.
And to address this challenge the stakeholders have organized for a robust sensitization and awareness campaigns through local radios, chiefs and assistant chiefs and even church leaders to enlighten the public on the right use of these nets.
Story and Picture by Terry Faith and Aphline Wamari