The National- Tuesday, January 11, 2011
By ELIZABETH MIAE
CLINICS have recorded a high number of malaria cases from children under the age of one which is a major concern for health authorities who are struggling to eradicate the disease from the country.
Malaria kills but the good news is that it is preventable. The best way to prevent it is by sleeping under a treated mosquito net.
Children under five years of age and pregnant women are vulnerable to malaria because their immune system is not strong enough to fight the malaria parasite.
To ensure these groups of people including others are protected, Rotarians Against Malaria (Ram), the Health Department and Population Services International (PSI) had teamed up to promote and advocate prevention messages and distribute treated nets to households in the country.
The distribution of treated nets is a nationwide project by RAM which is supported by PSI that focuses mainly on awareness on malaria and other related issues.
RAM together with PSI, the National Capital District (NCD) Health Services and NCD Commission will be distributing treated nets to the public from Monday.
RAM operations manager Rachel Kurup said yesterday that they hoped to give out about 58,000 treated nets to city residents.
She said that the number of nets that is to be distributed is the leftover from last year.
Kurup explained that the distribution of nets in NCD did not turn out well last year due to a poor survey conducted by another organisation which did not cover the targeted population.
She said a team from RAM was currently in Milne Bay distributing the nets, adding that after NCD, the exercise would conclude for Southern and New Guinea Islands regions, they will move on to the Momase and Highlands regions next month.
The organisations involved have put in place strict requirements for those getting a mosquito net and that included children who are present with their parent(s) or guardian together with their baby clinic book and a child born on or after Jan 1, 2006.
The teams will be present in the following areas to give out the nets:
.Waigani: New Morata clinic on Jan 17-22
.Saraga: SDA Church on Jan 17-22
. 8-Mile: Marie Stopes Clinic on Jan 17-22
. Hanuabada: St Michael’s church on Jan 17-20
. Idubada: Kanudi United church on Jan 21
. Tatana Island: Community Hall on Jan 22
A mobile team will visit the Fisherman Island, Lode Kone and Gereka on Jan 19.