USAID/PMI handover 360,000 mosquito nets to Liberia's Ministry of Health
On February 18th, USAID and the Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) handed over 360,000 mosquito nets to the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
In a ceremony held at the National Malaria Control Program offices, USAID Liberia Mission Director was joined by Dr. Bernice Dahn, representatives of the National Malaria Control Program, and representatives of USAID Liberia’s Health Office to mark the occasion with a symbolic handover of a few mosquito nets from USAID/PMI to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW).
The 360,000 mosquito nets donated during the ceremony are in addition to the 1.1 million donated through USAID/PMI since 2008. The total, 1.4 million nets, should be enough to ensure the vast majority of Liberian households are able to protect themselves from mosquitos each night.
In her remarks to the assembled press, USAID Liberia Mission Director Patricia Rader highlighted the vital importance of using the mosquito nets, pointing out that scientists worldwide agree that the most effective way to combat the spread of Malaria is by using a mosquito net at night.
Mission Director Rader went on to add that “There is no need for Liberians to have malaria, but for that to happen they must use the nets every night.” [Read her remarks here]
Donation and distribution of mosquito nets is just one part of a multi-pronged approach being taken by PMI and USAID to combat the spread of Malaria in Liberia.
The donation of malaria treatment to the MoHSW for use in health centers around the country are another important facet; over 2 million treatment dosages have been donated since 2008, filling between 30 and 40% of the need country-wide each year.
An active Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) program rounds out USAID/PMI interventions to fight malaria. In 2010 over 420,000 Liberians benefitted directly from IRS campaigns in 4 counties, and this year that number is expected to increase to over 520,000.
The PMI goal in Liberia is to achieve eighty-five percent (85%) coverage of Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), prevention with insecticide-treated nets (LLNs), intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPT), and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), in order to reduce malaria-related mortality by 75% in 2015.