North-Western Province Minister Daniel Kalenga has directed District Commissioners in the province to report any misuse of Insecticide Treated mosquito Nets (ITNs) to the police as it is an offence under the public health Act.
Mr Kalenga said his office has received reports that some ITNs are used for catching fish, making wedding dresses and food covers by street vendors and that this was hampering the fight against malaria.
He said such acts should not be allowed adding that there should not be hesitation to reprimand anyone found wanting.
Mr Kalenga issued the directive in Solwezi yesterday during the launch of the 454,815 Insecticide Treated mosquito Nets door to door distribution to be conducted in all the seven districts in the province.
He noted with sadness that according to the 2010 malaria indicator survey results revealed a reduction of 31 percent household ownership and use of ITNs in North-western and 33 percent reduction usage by children under the age of five.
Mr Kalenga urged community leaders such as Chiefs, Headmen and community volunteers to emphasise messages that promote and increase awareness on the correct usage of the nets at household level.
He added that there is need to encourage positive behaviour change on the use of ITNs correctly and consistently if the malaria related Millennium Development Goal is to be attained.
Speaking at the same function, Anglican Church Central Africa Archbishop Albert Chama said the church will continue partnering with government in ensuring that the country attains a malaria free status.
Zambia Anglican Council and Society for family Health has partnered with government to distribute the long lasting ITNs procured by the global funding to communities in the province as a malaria prevention intervention.