Plan International through its implementing partner Starks Foundation is due to commence distribution of 2.6 million mosquito nets in the 15 counties here this Thursday, 26 April to reduce the prevalence of malaria.
At the start of a two – day workshop Monday, 23 April for supervisors and mosquito nets distributors, Plan International Deputy Chief of Party Mr. Emmanuel R. Konoe said over 4,000 volunteers and supervisors are being trained simultaneously in the 15 counties for the distribution.
“As you may be aware, across the country we should be distributing the total of 2.6 million nets in the 15 counties,” Mr. Konoe said Monday at the Liberia Inland Church on the Old Road where the training is ongoing.
According to Mr. Konoe, distributing mosquito nets is just an event, but one of the challenges faced is the usage, complaining that many people use the mosquito nets to fence garden, shelter chicks from harmful birds, cover dead bodies, catch crawfish and fishing, among others.
He says they are conducting the two – day workshop ahead of the distribution to train participants to serve as ambassadors in helping to encourage the end users to sleep under the nets and not use them for other purposes.
According to Mr. Konoe, mosquito nets will be given to those who have been issued tickets at specified centers, adding that they will not move from one house to another.
For his part, Starks Foundation Board Chair and Grand Kru County Health Officer Dr. Augustine N. Fannieh said malaria prevention will help in reducing maternal mortality here.
Dr. Fannieh says some of the end users are not using the nets because they see them as caskets when they put them up.
According to him, end users usually complain that mosquito nets bring heat, and that it has chemical that burn skin and are very restrictive when users want to get out of bed to use the bathroom, among others.
He adds that Plan International received nets from donors and has subcontracted local and international NGOs to commence distribution from 26 April which will last for seven to nine days.
Mr. Fannieh concludes that household assessment training was done earlier, followed by the two – day training that is going on to educate participants not only to give the nets out but to educate end users on the uses of the nets to reduce malaria.
By Winston W. Parley