Puntland issues mosquito nets to poor families in malaria season

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Women are shown how to use the medicated mosquito nets by a health worker/ photo: Abdirahman Mohamed/ Radio Ergo.

(ERGO) – Thousands of medicated mosquito nets have been distributed to some of the poorest families in Puntland to prevent the seasonal spread of malaria in this region of northeastern Somalia.

More than 10,000 families in IDP camps in the towns of Bosaso, Qardho, Garowe, Burtinle, Galkayo, and those displaced by the drought in parts of Sool region, have been given nets.

Dr Abdikarin Hussein Hassan, malaria director at Puntland’s health ministry, told Radio Ergo that malaria had been on the rise in the region since 2012. The households selected would receive nets according to the number of family members. The distribution of more than 60,000 nets combined with anti-mosquito spraying in houses and neighborhoods in towns such as Bossaso are part of efforts to control the disease.

Over 13,000 nets have been allocated to about 4,500 families living in Jowle IDP camps in Garowe. They are given out by the maternal and child health services (MCH) clinic in the camp, where Ayaan Ahmed shows women how to use them properly.

“After you take the net to your house, you must expose it to the sunlight for six hours to eliminate the poisons, and then you can set it up and it will protect you from mosquito bites,” Ayaan explained.

The MCH also provides quick malaria screening and free treatment.

Fardow Farah Warsame, 33, said two of her children fell sick with malaria in the camp in March.

“Malaria affected my two boys, they had a boiling fever with vomiting and loss of appetite,” she said. “Thanks to Allah we got the nets and use them and things are better now. We used to have only one net but now we have four of them for us all to use.”

Farhiyo Abdi Abdikarin, who lives in Shabelle camp in Garowe with her husband and nine children, received nets for the family. She told Radio Ergo they feared malaria every rainy season, as they lived near a water dam where the children played when she and her husband are out at work.

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