Strong Supply Chains Ensure Available Bed Nets for 1,000,000 Households in Sokoto, Nigeria
July 1st, 2016 | Story
July 1st, 2016 | Story
In Nigeria, an estimated 225,000 people die each year from malaria—a disease that also causes an estimated 11 percent of the maternal deaths each year. In the northwestern state of Sokoto, for three to six months of the year, the risk of contracting malaria is at its peak; yet, even in other months, malaria causes a devastating loss of life. Malaria also creates an economic burden—battling a case of malaria or caring for a child who is sick with malaria leaves little time to tend to crops and livestock. The best way to help a population prevent bites from a malaria-carrying mosquito is to maintain an efficient, reliable supply of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs).
Since 2009, JSI’s USAID | DELIVER PROJECT—with the National Malaria Elimination Program (NMEP), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)—have provided LLINs in Sokoto state to reduce the number of malaria cases. Mass distribution campaigns are regularly held to ensure that every household has and uses an LLIN.
LLINs have an estimated life span of three years. Replacement campaigns encourage communities to replace their bed nets and to alert the population about available malaria treatment and prevention. Because families often don’t understand why they should throw out what seems to be a perfectly good bed net, campaings help community members understand that although the bed net looks fine, it no longer provides a sufficient level of protection from mosquitoes.
Three years had passed since the last mass distribution campaign in Sokoto state; in late 2013, the NMEP was ready to hold a campaign to distribute new LLINs. The NMEP and the Sokoto state government asked the project to provide technical assistance as they prepared for the replacement campaign. The project and GFATM coordinated procurement, in-country transportation, warehousing, and prepositioning at distribution points for 2.5 million replacement LLINs. The Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP) and Roll Back Malaria partnership rapidly distributed them during five days in December 2013.
To deliver the LLINs to Sokoto state as quickly and efficiently as possible, the supply chain had to work seamlessly. The project transported the LLINs from the Central Medical Store to the 23 local government areas in Sokoto state, followed by an additional delivery to 854 ward-level distribution points. The team on the ground collected data from the house-to-house mobilization initiative to calculate the number of LLINs needed in each village.
By the end of the campaign, using the project’s strategic coordination, the team distributed 2.5 million LLINs to households in Sokoto. The campaign provided at least one LLIN to 93 percent of the targeted households.
The NMEP will follow up with a one-year, post-campaign behavior change communication, after which a survey will help determine if households are using their bed nets consistently and correctly.
Through the coordinated effort of the Sokoto state government, the NMEP, TSHIP, and the project, the LLIN replacement campaign in Sokoto ensured the continued availability of LLINs to protect against malaria-carrying mosquitoes for more than one million households.