SNAP Boosts Health Ministry’s June 24 ILLIN Mass Campaign with 22,000 Bed Nets
Freetown, Mar. 21, 014 (SLENA) – The Sustainable Nutrition and Agricultural Promotion Programme (SNAP) has donated 22,000 Long Lasting Insecticide Nets to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in support of its June 2014 integrated mass campaign.
Making the donation during the handing over ceremony held in the Ministry’s Conference Hall at Youyi Building in Freetown, SNAP’s Chief of Party, Georgia Beans said the gesture was to demonstrate the appreciation of the collaboration between her organization and the Ministry on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in support of the forthcoming long lasting Insecticides mass distribution campaign.
She said SNAP project objectives include reduction of chronic malnutrition among Children under five years of age, improve access to quality nutrition and health services by women and children aged 0-59 months, and promote nutrition practices at household level.
Madam Beans opined that they enhanced livelihoods for vulnerable people especially women and youth through increased agricultural productivity, promote hand washing, and build capacity through trainings of health staff, as well as giving support to the free health care programmes for lactating mothers, pregnant women and children under five years of age.
Responding, Health and Sanitation Minister, Miatta Kargbo described the gesture as an invaluable collection to the millions of nets needed to meet the challenges ahead.
Malaria, the Minister said is a public health concern, adding that the donation would go a long way towards addressing the need of the six million populations that are at risk of the disease burden.
She applauds the effort of SNAP for contributing immensely to the vulnerable people of Sierra Leone noting that the government is striving hard to reach the Roll Back Malaria target and the MDG’s by 2015.
The effectiveness of the nets for prevention of malaria, the Minister noted has been proven and could reduce the incidence of uncomplicated malaria episodes by 50 percent in areas with stable malaria transmission like Sierra Leone.
The National Malaria Control Programme Manager, Dr. Samuel Smith reiterated the timeliness of the donation noting that it would help to fill the gap of the expected 3.5 million bed nets required for the June 2014 campaign, and appealed to other organizations for more supports.
Dr. Smith told his audience that the bed nets mobilized would be distributed FREE of cost nationwide, and advocated for support for its effective distribution to the targeted beneficiaries.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sarian Kamara, who chaired the occasion, maintained government’s stance to ensure preventable mortality reduced to almost zero.
Malaria treatment she said is free for all age groups in all public hospitals and health centres when diagnosed and confirmed by credible laboratory test or by microscopy by Health Workers.
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