Integrated Measles Campaign in Cross River State suffered a severe setback as children immunised were not given insecticide Treated Bed Nets as it is done in other states. The five-day campaign which started on Wednesday, December, 10th 2008 witnessed large turn out in some areas particularly in thickly populated farming settlements and Local Government Areas but the parents of the children were disappointed as they were not given the treated bed vets after immunisation.
Mothers who took their children for the immunisation expressed shock as their children were not given the nets given the massive radio and television announcements mounted by various agencies of government and non government organizations responsible for the campaign.
The Mothers who were visibly disappointed protested openly to the Health Workers who administered the immunisation exercise. The Health Workers who could not offered any explanation as to why the Nets were not given pleaded with the mothers to exercise patient as efforts would be made to supply them soon.
In their efforts to pacify the women protesters, the health workers according to our source, tore what they described as incsecticide treated bed nets’ vouchers and gave it to the women urging them to bring their children with the voucher to the centers and clinics for the Nets at appointed dates. The Voucher captioned, ‘One Free Net’ read, “The Federal Ministry of Health and Role Back Malaria Partners give you this voucher for the health of your children and family, one voucher = one free net one child under five years”
Speaking with our Correspondent under anonymity, some mothers lamented that their fears were predicated on the fact that similar gestures from the Federal Government or NGOs in the time past had been hijacked only for the items to be found in chemists.
Hear the Mothers, “Take for example, the Malaria Drug called ‘COARTEM’ is supposed to be free, but you will go the clinics, the staff there will sell it for us at various prices and you go to the chemists, they will sell it at the cost of N800-N1000 or more. This is our fear that we may end up not seeing the Mosquito Nets again”