Nkwanta (W/R), Oct. 2, GNA – Residents of Nkwanta, in the Aowin-Suaman District have hailed the hang-up campaign of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN) implemented in November, 2011.
They said the initiative has helped to reduce the frequent deaths and increased cases of malaria recorded in the community.
Mr Stephen Tandoh, 52, an Opinion Leader in the community in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said many of the community members who did not know the essence of using the LLIN had now embraced the initiative.
Mr Tandoh who is a father of seven and with two wives said all his family members had since been sleeping under the LLIN saying “the benefits are enormous, aside loosing man hours, we save money which previously was used to pay medical bills and transportation”.
Mrs Evelyn Offeibea Baddoo, Communications Officer at UNICEF Ghana, explained that the initiative is a national malaria control strategy that was developed to help control malaria through increased use of LLINs in various regions in the country.
She said in 2011, the UNICEF country office in Ghana procured 2.35 million LLINs to cover an estimated population of 4. 5 million in the Western and Central regions, and these nets were procured through a financial contribution by Department for International Development (DFID) in September 2010.
Mrs Baddoo said as part of efforts to reduce malaria and to make progress towards the attainment of the health related MDGs four, five and six the national malaria control strategy was developed to ensure that 100 per cent of households own at least one LLIN by 2015.
She said the program also seeks to increase the proportion of children under-five years and pregnant women who sleep under treated nets from the current level to 85 per cent, as well as to ensure that 80 per cent of the general population sleeps under LLINs by 2015.
Mr Charles Quartey, Principal Technical Officer of Disease Control at the Enchi District Hospital, said as part of the campaign Community volunteers were mobilized and trained to go from house to house to hang up the LLINs in identified sleeping places.
“We started with registration of residents which helped us to develop a mechanism to share the nets. A household of four children and the parents for instance are given two nets while,” he said.
Mr Quartey said hang up the nets commenced on November 7, 2011 in the Western region and November 28, in the Central region ended in the middle of December 2011. Some 83,000 LLIN were hang-up in the various households in the Aowin-Suaman District.