By Chioma Umeha
To end the malaria scourge, Reckitt Benckiser (RB) Nigeria teamed with the Lagos, Ogun and Abia state governments, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Abuja and embarked on community engagement.
The collaboration tagged, ‘One Act Against Malaria,’ was to mark this year’s World Malaria Day with the universal theme ‘End Malaria for Good.’
The community engagement saw officials from the States Ministry of Health and Reckitt Benckiser, makers of Mortein insecticide brand carry out sanitation, free malaria testing and consultation in four states – Abuja, Abia, Ogun and Lagos State.
They also went round communities to sensitise and educate residents on the immense benefits of maintaining clean environment as one of the most cost effective ways to reduce mosquitoes which are the major carriers of malaria parasite.
Speaking at the press briefing in Abuja to commemorate this year’s World Malaria Day (WMD), Mr. Rahul Murgai, said the community engagement and collaborations are part of numerous consumer engagement activities by the company to stem the prevalence of malaria scourge in Nigeria and Africa.
Murgai said the partnership with the States and Federal Government, which has been on-going for years, also demonstrates the company’s commitment to the anti-malaria fight in the country towards a healthy Nigeria.
He said: “At RB, our global vision is to have a world where people are healthier and live better. In achieving this, we will continue to make a difference by giving people innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. We know that regular combined interventions of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs), Larviciding and insecticide use like Mortein is the solution to achieving a Malaria-free Nigeria. Therefore to protect our children and ourselves from getting sick, the first thing to do is to educate ourselves about prevention.”
Leferink Aliza, Marketing Director, RB West Africa, explained that, through the grassroots community engagement, we educate communities on the importance of hygiene, and how the simple habit of maintaining clean surroundings and drainages can significantly help to reduce malaria.
According to Aliza, there are an estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria, mostly among children under the age of five.
“Malaria is preventable and we have made it our fight to educate on how to protect the most vulnerable – Pregnant women and children and their families against Malaria. This has also leveraged on the Clean Healthy Naija program which RB is leading across various platforms especially for preventable diseases.
Reiterating Mortein’s commitment to eradicating Malaria, Bamigbaiye-Elatuyi Omotola, Marketing Manager Mortein, RB West Africa, stated that Mortein has been at the forefront of the fight against Malaria in Nigeria.
“In the past few years, Mortein has partnered with the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Lagos state Ministry of Health (LSMOH) and various state ministries of health to foster education on malaria prevention via TV infomercials.
“Others are education at primary healthcare centres and the Mortein Own a Community Project which has been well executed across all LGA’s in Lagos State.
“We intend to take this a step further by having doctors in Markets to do free Malaria test and consultation in cities of high prevalence across the country.
“Additionally, #OneActAgainstMalaria campaign has recently been deployed to bring the message closer by imploring everyone to do one preventive act towards the eradication of Malaria within their immediate environment.”
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, in his address at the Abuja event, said this year’s campaign aims at drawing significant attention to the need to totally eradicate the malaria scourge in the country.
Adewole commended Mortein for its work and continuous support in the fight against malaria through its collaboration with the government.
He therefore pledged the Federal government’s commitment to work with RB/ Mortein to ensure total eradication of malaria in the country by imploring everyone to do acts against malaria in their community.
The Commissioners for health in Lagos, Ogun and Abia States also commended Mortein for teaming up with their respective State governments in the fight against malaria.