Dr Linda Ayade, wife of the Governor of Cross River, says over 800,000 Long Lasting Insecticide-treated Nets (LLINs) will be distributed to residents of the state.
Ayade said this on Sunday at Ikot Nakanda community in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state during the flag off of the LLINs by the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu.
Ayade said that the distribution of the nets was to reduce cases of malaria in the state and promote healthy living.
The wife of the governor, who was represented by the immediate past Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong, called on residents in the state, especially nursing mother’s and pregnant women to visit health centres close to them for the nets.
According to her, over 90 percent of residents in Cross River were at risk of suffering from malaria for not using the LLIN.
“The proper and consistent use of LLINs is a sure way to reducing malaria deaths and indices by 20 per cent and 50 per cent respectively especially among children less than 5 years in the State.
“More than 90 per cent residents in Cross River are at risk of malaria, with everyone suffering at least one bout of it yearly.
“Cross River is a state that places premium on the health of its residents. We are officially flagging off the distribution of LLINs across the state today and over 800,000 residents are expected to benefit from it,” she said.
Esu, who said that malaria is a killer disease and second to HIV/AIDS and its proven co-relationship with a wide range of other diseases, calls for global efforts for its elimination.
While thanking the Presidential Malaria Initiative, the United State Agency for International Development, the National Malaria Elimination Program, he called on members of the public and security agencies to maximally participate in the exercise to ensure its success.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Joseph Bassey, said that 2.4million LLINs worth over N2.3billion have been shipped into the state by USAID and sent to various distribution points across the 18 local government areas of the State.
Bassey added that 92 percent of the Nigerian population are at risk, contributing to an 11 per cent maternal mortality and 30 per cent under 5 mortality and 60 per cent outpatient visits in facilities.
A beneficiary, Mrs Comfort Okon, who received a LLINs, thanked the state government and development partners for their care and concern for the health of residents in the state.