GOVERNMENT has expressed concern at the increasing number of people misusing Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) by turning them into wedding dress laces, materials for chicken run fencing and fishing purposes.
Namwala District Commissioner, Gavia Nsanzya said the mosquito nets should only be utilised to prevent malaria because it was a serious health burden.
Mr Nsanzya said Government was dismayed with reports and actions by some people particularly in remote areas to misuse mosquito nets.
“My office will not take kindly to anyone who will be found abusing mosquito nets. As Government, we believe it is high time we become responsible of our own destiny,” he said
Mr Nsanzya was speaking at the weekend at Chitongo Rural Health centre in Namwala during commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day under theme ‘Invest in the future: Defeat Malaria’.
He said Government under diligent leadership of President Michael Sata was committed in providing quality health care services to people particularly those in rural areas.
“As Government, we are appealing to you brothers and sisters not to abuse these facilities. We have cases where mosquito nets have been used as fences for chicken runs, as well as wedding dresses and fishing nets,” he said.
World Vision Zambia (WVZ) coordinator for Maternal, Child Health, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS in Southern Province, Matrida Mukombo said the organisation would this year distribute a total of 2,283,000 mosquito nets across the country.
Ms Mukombo said scaling up the use of mosquito nets was one of major priorities of WVZ control strategy against malaria.
“World Vision as a child focused organisation has put malaria prevention, correct diagnosis and correct treatment especially for pregnant, lactating mothers and under five children as one of top agendas in its health programming,” she said.
She said WVZ was integrating the fight against malaria in different focal areas among others education, food security and economic development and health.
Provincial Medical Officer, Jelita Chinyonga said Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Siavonga and Namwala were among districts with high cases of malaria.
Dr Chinyonga urged people to embrace preventive mechanisms the Government was putting in place to reduce incidences of malaria such as the use of mosquito.