A total of 53,114 individuals are expected to benefit from a free mosquito net distribution exercise in the Krachi-Nchumuru District of the Oti Region.
The exercise, which has commenced on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 is expected to last for a week (7 days).
Speaking with Paul Yobaat, health officer in charge at the Zongo Macheri CHPS Compound, he stated that, the exercise commenced some few months ago with registration of households.
“Some few months ago, we went out to register each household. We took record of the number of people in each house and gave them a unique code. These codes contain information such as house numbers, contact of family heads and number of people in the houses among other details. To receive your mosquito net, you have to present your code, we verify and determine the number of nets to be given to you. Two people in a house qualifies for a net” he said.
He further made it known that, the Krachi-Nchumuru District records high number of cases of malaria, most especially during the rainy season.
“As at now, due to the delay in rainfall, the number of cases of malaria is at its minimum. Once the rains start, we are likely to record high number of cases of malaria” he added.
Speaking on challenges they face as heath officials in the District, he outlined language barrier, practicing of self medication and open defecation among others.
“There are several challenges we face as health practitioners at our compounds. Among them are language barrier, practice of self medication and open defecation. On the issue of language barrier, most of us can’t speak the Krachi, Konkomba or Nchumuru language. The people here, even though few are fluent in Twi, you will have to pay ramp attention to them in other to get what they are trying to put across. They also practice self medication. This practice prevents them from reporting to the centre on time. They normally come when the issue has moved from bad to worst. Another challenge is the increase in the practice of open defecation. The river, which serves as source of water for most of the households have been polluted due to open defecation. This has resulted in increase in water borne diseases in the area” he stipulated.
The Free Mosquito Net Distribution is a USAID initiative in collaboration with the Government of Ghana to eradicate Malaria. The exercise is done in every three years with the recent one observed in 2018.
Paul Yobaat further stipulated that, over 85% of the people use the nets for their intent purpose, resulting in decrease in number of malaria cases recorded in the past three years as compared to the past.
“We normally do a routine check up on them after the distribution. The exercise is to make sure they use the nets for their intended purpose. Over 85% of the people use the nets for the purpose for which they were given with the rest either using them for fishing or gardening. We do caution and encourage them to use the nets for their intended purpose” he added.
Speaking with some of the beneficiaries, they expressed their appreciation to the Government and also pledged to use the nets for the intended purpose.
“It has really helped us. In the past, we used record large number of cases of malaria but ever since we started receiving the free mosquito nets, the cases have reduced. We are very grateful to the Government and we pledge to use the nets for the reasons for which we were given” they said.