The Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Malaria (BACATMA) says it is distributing free 384,497 anti-malarial drugs to 205 health facilities across the state.

The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Mansur Dada, said on Friday that the policy was designed to combat malaria in the state, especially among pregnant women and children.

According to him, 122,800 diagnostic testing kits; 2,456 packets of hand gloves and 203 pieces of safety boxes would be distributed to the facilities.

Dada said that the distribution was the first phase for the November to December 2016.

“The agency in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and Global Funds as provided 355,937 doses of Artemiter and 28,660 doses of Fansider for pregnant women.

“The drugs are meant to be free for children from four years of age to adults and it is also expected that three doses of the Fansider will be given to each pregnant woman during her anti natal visits,’’ he said.

Dada said that the agency has relegated the responsibility of monitoring the health facilities to local government officials, traditional rulers and ward development committees to monitor the activities of the beneficial facilities.

“Ward Development Committees (WDCs) being those nearest to the people should ensure that the free drugs are given freely to the people.

“That is why the agency is working with the local government officials and stakeholders in the local government to draw our attention whenever the need arise,’’ he said.