Kisumu’s Mosquito Net Initiative: A Strategic Step in Malaria Prevention

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

In the ongoing battle against malaria, Kisumu County has taken a significant stride forward by distributing treated mosquito nets to 350,000 residents. This initiative marks a crucial step to prevent and control malaria, a disease endemic in Kenya, particularly in regions like Kisumu.

Over the past decade, concerted efforts by the government and development partners have intensified to combat malaria, focusing on both prevention and treatment strategies. Among these efforts, insecticide-treated mosquito nets distribution has emerged as a vital intervention to reduce malaria transmission rates.

In Kisumu County, the mass net distribution campaign kicked off in January this year, signalling a proactive approach to malaria control. Stakeholders convened at Migosi Primary School to discuss the distribution process, underscoring the collaborative effort involved in combating the disease. Led by Liliana Dayo, the County Malaria Control Coordinator, the stakeholders’ meeting laid the groundwork for a well-coordinated distribution strategy.

The distribution process was meticulously planned and executed, with officers trained to oversee digital household registration and net distribution using the Ministry of Health’s DIGIMAL platform. Health workers, community health promoters, and village elders were among those involved in ensuring the efficient distribution of mosquito nets to households across the county.

Thanks to these efforts, a staggering 1.7 million residents were registered from 326,990 households, with over 350 thousand individuals receiving mosquito nets through the digital distribution system. The delivery of 859,648 bed nets by KEMSA further reinforced the campaign’s impact, ensuring that each net reached an average of two people in the county.

Dr Liliana Dayo, the county’s Malaria Control Programme coordinator, expressed satisfaction with the progress made, highlighting the achievement of 100% household registration and 93% coverage of beneficiaries with mosquito bed nets. This achievement signifies a significant step forward in protecting vulnerable populations, such as young children and pregnant women, from malaria.

Residents welcomed the distribution of mosquito nets with optimism, recognizing the potential impact on reducing malaria incidence in their communities. Jack Onuong’a, a resident of Seme sub-county, emphasized the importance of sustained efforts in malaria prevention, especially among economically disadvantaged households. While acknowledging the immediate benefits of mosquito nets, he highlighted the need for continued government support to ensure long-term success in malaria control efforts.

The mass distribution of treated mosquito nets in Kisumu County represents a significant milestone in the fight against malaria. By prioritizing prevention strategies and leveraging digital technologies for distribution, the county has demonstrated its commitment to protecting the health and well-being of its residents. Sustaining these efforts will be crucial in achieving lasting progress in malaria control and ultimately reducing the burden of this preventable disease moving forward.

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