Sana-Agencies(15/1/2008): The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) at the Ministry of Health on 15 January launched a national campaign to combat malaria in 15 out of the 21 governorates. The campaign runs for 13 days and aims to get the nation prepared ahead of the summer season when an epidemic is expected.
Adel Nasser al-Jassar, the NMCP general-director, told IRIN 381,138 mosquito nets will be distributed in 95 malaria-infected districts. "The mosquito nets are funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and by the World Bank at a cost US$2,286,828," he said. Yemen’s government has paid 15 million riyals (about US$75,000) for distributing the nets.
"The mosquito nets will be given to citizens free of charge. They are effective and can last for five years," al-Jassar said.
Malaria remains a big challenge for Yemen’s government and causes 800,000-900,000 cases a year, according to the Ministry of Health. "Malaria is a big health problem in Yemen and hampers the country’s development," al-Jassar said.
In the second half of 2008, an additional 700,000 mosquito nets will be distributed in another campaign, according to al-Jassir. "A lot of workers are involved in distributing the nets. Each one is responsible for distributing 120 nets a day," he said.
According to the World Health Organisation office in Yemen, some 60 percent of the Yemeni population live in malarial areas. Globally, malaria causes at least one million deaths per year, and in Yemen 12,000 people die of the disease every year.
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