By Emmanuel Afonne
Total Companies in Nigeria have assured the Federal Government of their readiness to ensure total elimination of malaria in the nearest future.
The government was given the assurance on Thursday by Total Exploration and Production, and Total Nigeria at the inauguration of the Malaria elimination programme held in Gwagwalada, Abuja, with theme “Zero Malaria Starts With Me”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme which involved environmental sanitation exercise, house-to-house net hanging, as well as malaria diagnosis is part of activities to commemorate the 2019 World Malaria Day.
Mrs Bunmi Popoola-Mordi, Executive General Manager, Total Country Services, said the programme was the company’s way of discharging its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“According to the Word Health Organisation (WHO), Malaria infects more than 500 million people each year and kills more than one million people; although increased prevention and control measures have led to a 29 per cent reduction in malaria mortality rates globally since 2010.
“However, Total and her partners are here today to commemorate the World Malaria Day and it’s about saying no to malaria. All we are doing is to create awareness that personal hygiene is important to their health.
“We understand that Malaria is prevalent in Kuntunku community, Gwagwalada and we decided to come here today to show the community what they can do to prevent it because we are talking about prevention.
“We are doing this as part of our corporate social responsibility because health is one of our major pillars; health for us as a company, health for the people and our stakeholders and every community where we operate.
“Our effort at socially investing, educating and participating in cleaning up this community today is to demonstrate the important role a clean environment plays in the elimination of malaria.
“We did a survey and realised that Kuntunku community has a high malaria rate and we decided to come here and educate them on how to prevent the disease,” Popoola-Mordi said.
She urged the people of the community to sustain the practice and use the mosquito nets provided to them properly to ensure a malaria free community.
She also commended their partners, including government agencies such as the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Development Africa and Kasher Consulting for efforts made to tackle malaria over the years.
Mr Roland Ewubare, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), said the organisation was partnering Total Companies in Nigeria to ensure the World Health Organisation target on malaria elimination was achieved.
Ewubare, who was represented by Ms Mena Ogor, Officer in charge of Community Development at NAPIMS, noted that the health of Nigerians was paramount to them.
Traditional Ruler of Kuntunku community, Mohammadu Sani, said he would introduce a monthly sanitation to ensure the environment and community at large was free mosquitoes.