World Vision Malawi National Director, Hazel Nyathi, disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with members of the press at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
She said her organization is principal recipient of the Globe fund which will be used to fund mass campaigns in the country.
“Mass campaigns would ensure that all Malawians access long lasting insecticide nets and beddings to protect them from catching malaria,” Nyathi said.
She said records and statistics still show that malaria relevance is still high in the country and is one of the leading diseases which is causing a lot of deaths among under-five children and pregnant women.
“We are so happy and we wish to congratulate the government for winning the next round of funding from the Globe Fund. World Vision will be very supportive to ensuring that communities have access to the mosquito nets,” the National Director assured.
She explained that nets have been distributed before but results are not so impressive and we need to do more for us to successfully achieve the implementation of the initiative of net distribution among communities.
“Distribution of mosquito nets has always been there but records show usage uptake of the nets is at 55 percent and this means 45 per cent of the population are not using them,” Nyathi observed.
She revealed that World Vision would be distributing 10.9 million nets from Nsanje to Chitipa to make sure that every household has a net.
The National Director pointed out that proper use of the nets calls for behaviour change among communities and this would require intensive sensitization before, during and after distributing the nets so that communities should appreciate the importance of using the nets in their homes.
“We should appreciate that funding for behaviour change is not adequate and as a country, we need to do more. We should appreciate the economic and social cost malaria is having within our communities,” she added.
Nyathi wondered how many people have been affected by malaria this year and what impact there was in offices, homes and schools. He said people should look at what cost it is having to the country in order to address it.
“So we want to continue lobbying with our partners and government to provide adequate funding for behaviour change initiatives,” she explained.
Nyathi views that supply of nets alone would not bear meaningful results if indoor residual spraying of insecticides is not considered in order to reduce the number of mosquitoes.
National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) Manager, Dr Michael Kayange,observed that communities have been supplied with nets but most of them are not using them.
He said it is disheartening to note that some nests are being used as fishing gears, particularly along the lakeshore areas.
“We need to develop a comprehensive mechanism in order to discourage the malpractice. If communities are resorting into using the nets for other purposes then they are defeating our goals of fighting malaria in the country,” Kayange added.
He said NMCP needs to work closely with traditional leaders to take a leading role to ensure that their subjects are sleeping under treated mosquito nets that are being provided to them by different organizations involved in the fight against malaria.
Government and Global Fund last week signed a grant totaling US460 million to be used for a two year period of 2018 to 2020.