Guest Blog by Tony Anammah, DELIVER PROJECT, Nigeria
The Universal LLIN campaigns in Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Adamawa States had one thing in common – the LLINs were provided alongside other interventions like immunization (especially polio), nutrition screening, vitamin A supplementation, deworming and provision of ante natal care services.
A quick assessment of what transpired during the Child Health Week in these states showed that there was some level of success in integrating the interventions in the above metioned states. This success was in terms of the fact that communities were more willing to accept polio immunization because of theÂ ‘mosquito’ nets. The Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) actually provided a good structure for the delivery of these nets to households and the structure designed for the distribution of the nets (if it had been stand alone campaigns) was modified to incorporate all the interventions.
The challenge was not if the communities will accept the nets or ensuring that the nets gets to all the communities. The major challenge is if the households will actually use the nets. This needs to be closely monitored and followed up. There was an end process monitoring after the campaigns but it will be interesting to know how well the households are using their nets some months later.
Even though there were some successes, there were a number of challenges. One of such challenge was that the time to plan for such an elaborate campaign to integrate all the interventions was evidently too short and there were clashes in programmes delivery strategies. There were some level of cooperation between the programme managers but at the same time, each manager was equally keen on delivering on their individual programme obejectives.
On the average, it can be said that there was some level of success butÂ it will be wonderful to see if this kind of attempt to integrate interventions can be sustained and lessons learnt incorporated into strategies. But most importantly, it must be ascertained if integrating these interventions has actually been beneficial to the fight to reduce mortality due to malaria.