No fewer than 350 insecticide treated nets were distributed freely on Monday in Benin by the medical outreach of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO).
This was disclosed by Mr Honestus Obadiora, Manager, Health of the organisation, at the end of a rally and road show organised by the NGO, in commemoration of the 2018 World Malaria Day.
He said that a total of 393 persons were tested for malaria during the exercise, with 65 testing positive to the malaria virus.
Obadiora said the aim of the exercise was to identify with the global community to mark the World Malaria Day, which is celebrated annually on April 25.
“This is because malaria has been identified to be a killer disease and the virus affects all, irrespective of age and sex, and lots of funds are expended in its treatment.
“In line with the 2018 theme, “Ready to Beat Malaria,’’ the organisation also included advocacy in the exercise, to ensure that people understand the need for testing, before medication.
“Malaria drugs are one of the most abused drugs as people purchase it indiscriminately, without running a test to determine their health status,’’ he said.
Miss Vivian Onuorah, Programme Officer, LAPO, said the organisation decided to identify with the World Health Organisation to educate community members about malaria.
She said the outreach not only gave out nets but also carried out free malaria tests, and gave free drugs to those who tested positive to malaria.
Earlier, Mrs Sabina Osehobo, Executive Director, LAPO, in her opening remarks said that the organisation’s activities for malaria prevention were aimed at reducing the socio-economic burden of malaria on individuals and members of their households.
She said that in 2017, LAPO distributed thousands information materials and treated nets, as well as provided free Malaria screening services to about 38, 593 beneficiaries across target communities.
Osehobo reiterated the organisation’s commitment to support every malaria control effort of government.
She noted that beating malaria was critical to ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 3 by 2030.
That the rally and road show were carried out at two different axis in the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state, for a wider reach to beneficiaries.