A registration exercise for the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated nets (LLINS) for residents in the Greater Accra Region has ended.
For seven days, registration assistants moved from house to house to register households and issue them with ‘code cards’ with which to redeem their nets.
The exercise was organised by the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as part of its programme of replacing bed-nets every three years.
Throughout the exercise, the registration assistants, who were trained to register households electronically, were monitored by supervisors from the district, municipal, regional and national levels.
The supervisors ensured that the registration was properly done and that the households were directed to the point where they are to redeem their nets during the distribution, which comes on from November 22 to 28, 2018.
Programme Manager tour
The Programme Manager of the NMCP, Dr Kezia Malm, together with some officials of the NMCP, also visited some of the districts to access the exercise.
She expressed satisfaction with the general willingness and eagerness of the public to take part in the exercise.
“Overall, households patronage is high because people have seen the need to use the treated nets, Dr Malm said.
She noted, however, that LLIN distribution in urban areas had its challenges.
“We expected some of these challenges but having learnt a lot from the other regions we devised strategies to mitigate them,” she added
One of the challenges, Dr Malm indicated, was that some people did not register because they did not want the nets.
She explained that some residents either had LLINs from other sources or had other means of protecting themselves from mosquito bites, such as Indoor Residual spraying (IRS), which also tackles the mosquito.
“We intensified all efforts to ensure a wide coverage so that when distribution starts people who need the nets will turn out in their numbers to receive them,” she emphasised.
To ensure the success of the exercise, the NMCP embarked on Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) activities to raise public awareness.
Public announcements using information vans and megaphones were carried out by health workers in markets and communities in all the 20 districts of the region.
Letters were also sent to churches, mosques and schools requesting further dissemination of the message.
The Health Promotion Officer at Ga South Municipal, Mrs Victoria Gyasi, said all the 23 community information centres in the municipality were engaged to reinforce the message for residents to register.
In addition, she said radio stations in the Ga South Municipal broadcast the message for households to register.
The Health Promotion Officer at the Dansoman Polyclinic in the Ablekuma District, Ms Gifty Ansah-Asare, said all efforts were made to reach the residents with the message before registration started, adding that public awareness creation activities continued throughout the exercise.
Announcements were also made at the Child Welfare Clinic and by health workers of the clinic during their outreach activities.
The Disease Control Officer of the Bortianor Health Centre, Ms Mary Frimponmaa, said the major challenge faced in the district was the unwillingness of some members of the community to register for the exercise.
According to her, some members of the sub-municipal did not want to give out the personal information needed to complete the registration.
A number of people who spoke to the Daily Graphic hailed the exercise and expressed the readiness to redeem their nets when distribution starts.
Some, however, said they did not register because they were already beneficiaries of LLINs from the Child Welfare Clinics.