Colleagues from Jhpiego Nigeria and the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health are presenting a poster at the American Society of Tropical Medicine 64th Annual Meeting Wednesday 28 October 2015. Visit Poster 1657. In the meantime review the abstract below.
Long Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (LLINs) protect users from malaria only if they reach the home. A smoothly functioning distribution is essential to ensure nets reach their end users. Routine distribution at clinics helps to maintain supplies, but mass campaigns are also needed to replace nets on a wide scale.
The recent LLIN mass campaign in Akwa Ibom State Nigeria offers lessons and challenges on this process. A State support team was set-up and estimated the total nets needed on one net to 2 people. A total of 21,167 different cadres of personnel were recruited from supervisory to outreach jobs. One-day training was conducted in batches in each of the 31 Local Government Areas (LGAs). To begin household mobilizers issued net cards and registered household members Town announcers helped in demand creation.
A private firm was hired bring 2,715,160 nets to 1,242 delivery points. A reporting tool tracked and monitored the distribution process. Reports flowed from the distribution points to the Ward supervisor, the LGA team leader and on to the state technical support team. The State team met at the end of each day to review activities and address challenges and re-strategize. The distribution lasted from 18-22 December, 2104.
Overall, thirty-five thousand households were mobilized, and no settlement was reported omitted. 2,715,160 nets were distributed, and 88,049 nets remained in the LGAs, while 23,080 were left in the central store for mob-up. Unfortunately 145 50-net bales were missing. Mobilization led to active involvement of the faith-based leaders, traditional rulers and members of the national youth service corps scheme.
Despite advocacy, state political officials focused more on upcoming elections that the net distribution. Although demand was created and short term need was met, more attention is needed to longer term use and supplies for routine services.
The remaining supplies unfortunately were affected by security lapses and lost nets and may not serve the needs of complimentary routine distribution. The State needs to assess the long term costs and sustainability of such massive efforts in terms of meeting its malaria control needs.
 – John Orok, Bright Orji, Enobong Ndekhedehe, William R. Brieger