Free Mosquito nets selling like hot cakes

The Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN’S) which government is distributing freely to prevent further spread of malaria in the country are on the market for sale.

The development is contrary to government’s initiative of fighting the killer disease malaria which according to the Ministry of Health still remains a leading life threatening especially among children.

In some parts of Lilongwe city like Chilinde, Area 23, and Kawale, the freely distributed mosquito nets are illegally sold at K100, where as in Lilongwe town vendors are trading the mosquito nets at the price of K1,000.

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with donor countries, is working with local volunteers to both distribute mosquito nets and educate the public on how to use them correctly. Photo Times Group

Asked to shed light on this, Ministry of Health Spokesperson, Henry Chimbali said he is not aware that some vendors are selling the mosquito nets.

“I have not yet received any information about that but if indeed it is happening then it’s unfortunate because the nets are supposed to be freely distributed to Malawians. I will follow it up and possibly link up with the Police to help,” said Chimbali.

Chimbali said it is illegal to sell the mosquito nets, warning that government would arrest anybody found doing so.

“I appeal to all the beneficiaries of the mosquito nets to use them for the intended purpose, Don’t sell them out,” he said.

On Saturday, July 24, 2012, Vice President Khumbo Kachali launched a nationwide mass distribution of 5.4 million insecticide treated nets to people in the country in an effort to reduce cases of malaria at a function that was held at Mbulumbuzi in Chiradzulu district.

Kachali who is also Minister of Health said Malaria related deaths decreased by 32 percent in 2010/2011, mainly due to similar interventions that government undertook among pregnant women and under five children.

Media report indicates that a total of 4 million cases of malaria were recorded in the country annually by Ministry of Health, with 4,000 to 5,000 deaths caused by the disease.

The distribution of the freely distributed nets is supposed to end next week countrywide.

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