LIBERIA COMMENCES NATIONWIDE MOSQUITO NET DISTRIBUTION ON APRIL 26
Plan International Liberia in partnership with the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) of Ministry of Health (MOH) in Liberia is expected to kick off a mass distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (LLINs) throughout the country. Plan and its partners in the last few months have completed a nationwide household assessment and distribution of vouchers which will be used to exchange for the nets. This year’s distribution will be done at fixed sites which have been identified by Plan, partners and County Health Teams (CHTs). Mass distribution of LLINs takes place once every three years.
At least 2.6 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) are expected to be distributed with funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which is part of an ongoing Global Fund malaria program in Liberia. The funding is received through and governed by Liberia Coordinating Mechanism (LCM). The LCM which is known globally as Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), is a national multi sectorial body that provides oversight for all Global Fund programs in a country on behalf of the country. The LCM is responsible for selection of organizations to serve as Principal Recipients (PRs) for the implementation of Global Fund grants in Liberia. The Ministry of Health and Plan International Liberia currently serve as Co-PRs for the malaria grant. Both entities are charged with the responsibility of implementing the LLIN campaign.
Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Net mass distribution campaign is quite an involving process and it includes different levels of planning, development of campaign strategy, training manuals, M & E Tools and other training materials; communication materials, trainings, national household assessment, procurement, storage, transportation and distribution of the nets across all 15 counties in Liberia. The net distribution will be launch on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 – World Malaria Day. The actual net distribution will start on April 26 and ends on May 3 for Monsterrado County and May 1 for the rest of the 14 counties.
Plan International Liberia Global Fund Malaria Programme Chief of Party, Dr. Ibrahim Kamara said the primary objective of the mass net distribution is to reduce deaths associated with malaria. Moreover, he noted that besides the mass net distribution, the Ministry of Health, through the NMCP will continue the routine distribution of nets to pregnant women during their first Ante-Natal Care visits, and after giving birth at a health facility.
“Specifically, the aim of the LLIN campaign is to achieve ‘universal coverage’ defined, in Liberia, as one net per two persons with a maximum of 3 nets per household. The hope is that at least 80% of the population everywhere, sleep under net (LLIN) every night, especially pregnant women and children. This intervention will not only protect the people sleeping under LLIN from mosquito bites and getting malaria, but it will also contribute to an overall reduction in malaria transmission within the population,” Dr. Kamara noted.
Meanwhile, the Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Net mass distribution campaign launch coincides with the 2018 World Malaria Day celebration. World Malaria Day which is celebrated on April 25 each year is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control.
This year’s global theme for World Malaria Day is “Ready to beat Malaria” with its national theme also tied up with the LLIN campaign: “Everywhere, Every Night, Sleep Under the Net”. In the lead-up to 25 April, 2018; Plan International Liberia, the MOH and its national partners have been undertaking series of activities toward increasing awareness to prevent and control malaria in the country.
The First Lady of the Republic of Liberia, Mrs. Clar Weah is expected to launch the campaign during the official program marking World Malaria Day 2018 at the Paynesville City Hall in Monrovia, Liberia.
Other dignitaries expected to attend include the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira and representatives of other UN Agencies, bilateral institutions including USAID, the leadership of the LCM headed by Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe and officials of the Ministry of Health.