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CRS sensitised NAMs on LLINs distribution

Aug 11, 2010, 1:48 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) last Friday held a day long sensitisation on the distribution and use of Long Lasting Insecticide Bed Nets for members of the National Assembly Members, at the Tendaba Camp in the Lower River Region.

Addressing the parliamentarians about the distribution of the bed nets across the country, Mr. Ebrima Jarjue, the head of the CRS country programme in The Gambia said the focus on bed nets distribution in the country in the year 2004-2006 was for pregnant women and children under the age of 5.

According to him, because of the significant impact of this programme in reducing malaria in The Gambia, especially in those areas where the intervention has taken place, they decided to go in for a bigger programme to cover the whole country. He said the programme would cover the spraying of all houses to prevent behavioral change to be able to use evident based strategy to prevent malaria in a maximal way.

All these activities, Jarjue added, are happening in order to reduce mobility and mortality from malaria, noting that CRS is responsible for the distribution of bed nets across the country, while the National Malaria Control Programme would be responsible for case management.

He said the main objective of the distribution is to provide bed net to every two Gambians in order to prevent malaria, and also solicit the support of NAMs during the process of the campaign, so that they can advocate with their different constituencies to ensure that communities participate.

Without community participation in the process, Jarjue went on, they will not be able to reach the people. 

He further noted that The Gambia government has secured funding from the Global Fund in 2004, to the tune of 16 to 17m Dollars to fight malaria, adding that the grant is for a grace period of 5 years, focusing on three areas namely, to promote treatment of malaria, give pregnant woman the opportunity to drink drugs, tablets and medicine that will prevent them from malaria and to provide bed nets to every single pregnant woman and every single child under 5 years.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Elizabeth FY Renner said "as NAMs their added task is to convene people to sleep under the treated bed net for their own safety, safety of their children and that of their own born children." Speaker Renner commended CRS for what she described as a very good work.

According to her, it is the duty of the NAMs to join in the fight against malaria, which is a killer-disease.

Mr. Baba Balajo, the Programme Manager at CRS dwelt on key activities in the implementation of malaria project, which he noted, includes LLINs distribution campaign, extension workers training, Kabilo approach and malaria competence approach.