County to push for legislation against misuse of nets.
The Kisumu County government may soon create a legislation to criminalize the use of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) as fishing gears or otherwise to promote the Malaria prevention campaigns in the lake region.
This legislation will act as a deterrent against misuse of these anti-malaria items by fishermen.
The Chief Officer for Health, Dr. Ojwang’ Lusi cautioned the use of ITNs for fishing purposes or fencing off kitchen gardens.
He clarified that the insecticides used for making the nets are poisonous to both the fish and the water and so should not be used as fishing nets.
Speaking at Nyakach County Hospital, Pap Onditi yesterday, the medic emphasised that the ITNs must be used for the intended purposes.
He said the Ministry of Health was distributing prophylactic drugs to pregnant women, pointing out that the burden of malaria was felt more in Seme sub-county which borders Gem in the neighbouring Siaya County.
Dr. Lusi disclosed that they target to distribute 700, 000 nets to about 1.3million population by giving 1 net per two people in the 2800 households in the second phase of the distribution.
“In our Maternal Health Care (MCH) all pregnant women and children under 5 years are given free ITNS”, he confided.
On the ongoing nurses’ strike, the Chief Officer declared the industrial action illegal since there was no strike notice issued by the group.
He advised the striking nurses to be wise enough and go back to their places of work as they have already issued warning letters to those found culpable and was taking roll call to single out those who failed to report for disciplinary action.
“We will not pay for work not done and cannot have these cyclic strikes some of which are meaningless”, he declared.
The representative from the National Malaria Control Programme, Paul Kiptoo said the ITNs were last issued in 2014 and so the 2017 distribution phase was being launched in Kisumu, Migori, Siaya and Vihiga.
Kiptoo said they were targeting 26 counties across the country by the end of which the programme shall have distributed 15.1million nets worth a lot of money funding from development partners such as the Global fund.
He emphasized that our citizen must appreciate that a lot of funds have been invested by the Global Fund have invested (Kshs.12million) and a further Kshs.2.9million Presidential Initiative.
“In 2015 net use stood at around 63% but we target to reach 80% utilization rate by 2018. We are happy that among the pregnant women the usage stood at 82% in this region”, he explained.
Kiptoo pointed out that net usage nationally was 40% net coverage in the local households and so wondered where all the nets issued earlier on disappeared to. “We are now issuing more nets but please don’t preserve them for visitors from Nairobi or foreigners but use them to protect your families against the killer malaria”, he advised.
Olivia Ranguma, the wife of Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma expressed concern for pregnant mothers, the elderly and children who bore the greatest brunt of the killer disease.
Olivia said malaria was the major cause of infant mortality and morbidity in Kisumu prompting the local leadership to collaborate with the National Malaria Control Program to come up with strategies to control the menace.
By Joseph Ouma and Pauline Otieno