Monday, October 3

Many Households lament Marginalization in Insecticidal Net Distributions Campaign

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By: Nyima Sillah

After over one month of insecticidal net distribution in The Gambia, dozens of household heads lament marginalization and said they were left out during the campaign period and did not benefit from the distribution.

However, following their disappointment, the National Malaria Control Program assured a second-round distribution to cover individuals and communities who were left out in the first round.

The Ministry of Health insecticidal net campaign was launched on 12th May 2022 in Karang, Senegal during a collaboration campaign between The Gambia and Senegal to fight against malaria, which is globally a burden being home to 95% and 96% of cases, deaths respectively.

In an exclusive interview with The Voice, Yassin Manjang explained that she was given cards before the distribution, but it was unfortunate that her house did not get even a single Net.

“Besides that, the distribution is complicated because some households got less than the cards given, and some got more,” she noted.

Bai Lowe also complained that the distributors should have done a house-to-house campaign to avoid such mistakes. This is because some people were not aware of the campaign while noting that they should have sensitized the public about the campaign to create more awareness before the distribution.

However, Halimatou Bah from an extended family said she was given six cards, but received two-bed nets during the distribution campaign, which she said would not be enough for her and the family.

In her explanation, she was directed to a health center, but upon arrival, she was asked to present a card before receiving a net.

Balla Kandeh, the director of the National Malaria Control Program confirmed to this medium that in every campaign, there must be some left-outs in the first round revealing that they are making arrangements for a mop-up for the people that did not have in the first round.

“We know the areas that are yet to be given because we collected the data. Some were not registered because if the registrations go to a particular house once, twice or so, and did not meet anyone, you don’t expect them to go back there, but we will follow the data and do a mop-up for all those areas,” he promised.

Meanwhile, SalifuTouray, one of the distributors, disclosed that over a million nets were distributed within the one-month campaign. And some of those who missed the distribution were referred to health facilities for clarification so that they would be given. He noted that some households were given 5 cards, but they gave those 3 because the distribution was two people per net in each household.