A Civil Society Advocacy Organisation, Health for All Coalition, monitoring the implementation of the Free Health Care, has met with Nongowa Chiefdom authorities to formulate bye laws on the use of mosquito nets supplied late last year to households by the National Malaria Control Programme.
The meeting took place at the compound of Paramount Chief Alhaji Amara Bonya Vangahun along Jabie Street in Kenema City.
In his opening remarks, the chairman for the occasion who also doubles as the Regional Coordinator East for Health for all Coalition, Mohamed Kenie Sei, said his organisation is mainly concerned with the misuse of mosquito bed nets on which donors spent a lot of dollars to make it available to citizens of this country.
Mr. Kenei Sei said the formation of bye laws on the use of the long lasting insecticide treated bed nets will serve as a check on the wrong use of the bed nets in the communities.
In his statement, the National Coordinator Health for All Coalition, Edward Jusu, said the National Disease Survelance Unit in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) has proved that the issue of maternal and child mortality in the country is caused by malaria and therefore there is a great need to put more emphasis on the use of mosquito nets which will serve as a means of preventing the disease malaria.
He said it is very much timely to incorporate chiefdom authorities and to formulate bye laws to ensure the proper use of the bed nets at all times.
The malaria focal person in the Kenema District, Janet Hindowa, pointed out some wrong uses of the bed nets, saying that most women use them for fishing and other domestic purposes.
Responding to the call, the Paramount Chief of Nongowa Chiefdom in the Kenema District, PC Alhaji Amara Bonya Vangahun, said the issue of human rights has eaten deeply into the fabric of our society to the extent that laws are very difficult to work nowadays, because children go about un-checked all because of human rights.
The Chief welcomed the formation of bye laws in his Chiefdom which, he said, as Chiefs they will support the coalition at all levels in meeting their target goal.
He appealed to his subjects to ensure that the laws hold in their localities.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed by all that anybody caught misusing the mosquito net will pay a fine of fifty thousand Leones (Le50,000) or three months imprisonment, and a committee set up to monitor the process in the communities.
By: Saffa Moriba