Gusau - Zamfara Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) is to evacuate and destroy 2.6 million mosquito net nylon jackets to prevent chemical infection on the people.
The agency's Director of Pollution Control, Mallam Shehu Muhammad, made this known on Wednesday in Gusau when a team from the Malaria Action Program for States (MAPS) visited his office.
The team was at the agency to seek its cooperation for safe disposal of the 2.6 million treated mosquito net jackets to be distributed in August in the state.
"We will remove each net from its nylon jacket before issuing it to a beneficiary, and we also need to safely dispose of the nylon jackets which will be done in partnership with the agency," the team leader, Dr Abdul Mussa, said.
Mussa assured that staff would be stationed at all the distribution centres to collect all the disposable nylon jackets and burn them at a safe place.
He said, in the past, children in rural areas used such jackets as caps after the nets had been removed, thereby exposing themselves to dangerous chemicals.
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"This is why we find this partnership laudable in protecting communities especially the young ones."
He recalled that the organisation had distributed 1.5 million treated mosquito nets across the state in 2010/2011.
Mussa however expressed concern over lack of usage of the nets, as only 30 per cent reduction in malaria cases was recorded in the state since then.
He said that the organisation would mount massive awareness campaign in rural communities to encourage people to use the nets.
"We are now fully involving all stakeholders including the local government council chairmen, traditional rulers, ministries of information, health and local government and chieftaincy affairs.
"This is in order to reach out to all communities in the 147 wards of the state," he stressed.
He also said that the campaign would sentise the beneficiaries not to sale the net but to use it in safeguarding their health.