Many families in Hagen Central District with children under five years of age now have treated mosquito nets to protect their children from malaria and other vector borne diseases.
Rotary Against Malaria (RAM) in partnership with the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) has recently distributed more than 18,000 treated bed nets to various families following an earlier survey.
The distribution of the nets took place from 15 – 20th March following four weeks of planning and identification of families and involved more than 100 volunteers.
Nelson Manasseh, the Provincial Malaria Supervisor with the WHPHA said the distribution exercise was done under a new program called the Long Lasting Insecticide/Integrated Nets (LLIN) for under five-year-olds only and covered all families with children under five years in Hagen Central.
Nelson said the LLIN distribution program proved successful in the National Capital District where it was first trialed and because of this, the program had been extended to cover the Highlands region starting with Western Highlands and later Simbu, Eastern Highlands and Morobe provinces.
He said in Hagen Central, 20 teams of six volunteers each and team leaders comprising health workers distributed the nets and if the incidence of malaria in children decreases, other districts in Western Highlands would also be covered.
The expected coverage rate for children under five years in Hagen Central District sleeping under treated mosquito nets is 90% or above.