Cameroon to give 9m free mosquito nets
Yaounde - Cameroonian Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Saturday launched an anti-malaria campaign, promising to distribute nine million free mosquito nets.
The nationwide campaign named "KO palu" (knock out malaria) will last a month and aims to ensure that the west African country's 19.4 million inhabitants have access to mosquito nets.
The free nets ultimately aim "to cover the entire national population", Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda said, adding that 40 000 people had been deployed to help with the distribution.
In Cameroon, malaria kills more people than Aids and tuberculosis combined, according to health ministry figures.
"Malaria is... the first cause of child mortality in Cameroon and accounts for 40% of health-related spending in the country's households," Yang told a crowd of 6 000 gathered in Yaounde for the campaign launch.
The campaign is financed by The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
In January 2011, President Paul Biya announced that malaria treatment would be free for all children under five.
According to the health ministry the measure has already allowed 85 000 children to receive medical care for malaria.