Govt. plans massive distribution of 15.1 million mosquito nets

NAIROBI, Kenya, 20 March 2017– The government has kicked off a two year massive campaign to distribute 15.1 million, Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLIN) to 23 Counties that are endemic to malaria.

The campaign that ends in 2018 will cost about KSh5.6 billion as part of the ongoing and sustained campaign to fight the mosquito-borne disease.

Next month the counties of Homabay, Kisumu, Migori, Siaya and Vihiga Counties will receive 3.2 million nets followed by Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Kericho, Kilifi, Kisii, Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa, Nandi, Narok, Nyamira, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and West Pokot.

The Head of the National Malaria Control Programme Dr. Waqo Ejersa confirmed on Monday, that the nets will be distributed per the number of individuals in a household and the government plan is to cover everyone in the target Counties. One net is apportioned to two people per household.

If you have 10 people in one household then that household will get five nets because our aim is to achieve universal coverage and limit the high risk of contracting malaria in these Counties. Owing to the magnitude of the exercise, some of the nets will be distributed this year and the rest will be distributed in 2018,” he announced.

LLINs have life cycle of three years and the government has been replacing them after every three years. This will be the third time that the government is massively distributing LLINs having previously done so in 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 respectively

According to Dr. Ejersa, Kenya’s malaria prevalence has declined significantly as a result of the sustained campaigns. In 2010 the malaria prevalence rate in the Lake region was 38 percent but by 2015, it had dropped to 27 percent. The overall malaria prevalence in Kenya has also recorded a drop from 11 percent in 2010 to eight percent in 2015.

He revealed that advocacy, communication and social mobilization campaigns have already been conducted in the target Counties. This is aimed at ensuring that the target population uses the LLINs appropriately.

The campaign is co-sponsored by the Government of Kenya, the Global Fund and USAID through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). The KSh5.6 billion will cater for the two years of the campaign and cover distribution costs, advocacy, and delivery to the end-user, communication activities among others.