THE Federal Government has advised healthcare workers to be truly professional in the distribution of free mosquito nets to the general public.
Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu, the National Technical Director on Malaria, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), gave the advice at the on-going free-Malaria in Kwara, an initiative of Gov. AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, on Monday in Ilorin.
He said that the Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) was free and as such must not be sold or diverted by those vested with the responsibility to distribute the nets and the beneficiaries of the product.
Mokuola said as important personnel on the health chain in the fight against malaria, he charged the health workers to deliver their services in accordance with the national guidelines.
“If you receive mosquito nets free, distribute the nets faithfully, if you are supposed to test the patient before treatment, test the patient and treat according to the result of the test.
“Don’t manipulate the result of the test so that you can have the opportunity to sell the drugs to other people.
“If you have received the drugs free, you should also administer the drugs freely,” he said.
Mokuolu, a Professor of Paediatrics at the College of Health Science, University of Ilorin, appealed to Nigerians to have a positive attitude towards the use of the insecticide-treated nets.
He observed that the fight against malaria was crucial as Nigeria presently was ranked high in terms of the contribution to the global burden of malaria and related malaria deaths.
He said the country needed to increase her level of commitment to the fight against Malaria so as to get out of this unenviable position it had found itself.
The paediatrician commended the Kwara government for striving to ensure the elimination of malaria in the state by releasing counterpart funds for primary healthcare in the state.
“These counterpart funds are token of demonstration to even encourage other international partners so that they don’t create a dependency on us.
“Also, in the fight against malaria, we need sub-national units such as states, local governments and regions to declare a major fight against Malaria.
“It is the aggregate of all of these that are going to give us the Nigeria Free Malaria Goal that we have set for ourselves,” he said.
According to him, people owe it to themselves to ensure a clean environment, while also prevent having stagnant water around the household to reduce breeding mosquitoes.
He warned people against self-medication of malaria whenever they had a symptom, adding that “it is not all fever that is caused by malaria.”
He encouraged the people to always get themselves tested before treatment and endeavour to sleep under the insecticide-treated mosquito nets, saying it is safe, harmless and efficacious.