November 29, 2021

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CAMA, Access bank launch project to end Malaria in Lagos, other states

The Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA), with support from Access Bank Plc has launched the End Malaria Project in Lagos, Ebonyi and Kaduna.

They commenced the project with an advocacy visit to government and community leaders in the Alimosho and Ikorodu local government areas of Lagos State to familiarize the community with the project and engage them in the process.

While educating the masses on malaria, CAMA Program Director, Ochuko Keyamo-Onyige, said, “Malaria is known to be endemic in the tropics, and is transmitted all over Nigeria, where it is estimated that up to 97 per cent of the country’s population risk getting the disease.

“Transmission season lasts all year in Southern Nigeria, reaching its peak during the rainy season, thereby putting pregnant women and children under five with relatively lower levels of immunity at high risk.

“According to the 2020 World Malaria Report, Nigeria had the highest number of global malaria cases (27% of global malaria cases) in 2019 and accounted for the highest number of deaths (23% of global malaria deaths),” she continued.

Keyamo-Onyige further revealed that CAMA had launched the End Malaria Project as an initiative to galvanize private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards reducing the incidence and prevalence of malaria in the most endemic region in Africa by 2023, starting in Nigeria.

Also speaking about the program, Access Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said: “The End Malaria Project is designed in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

She also highlighted the need for more private sector organizations to complement government efforts by investing in high-impact health interventions such as malaria and maternal health.

The health programme, which took place in five communities in Lagos – the Ekoro, Omorogba, Adelabu, Omologede and Ijede communities of Alimosho and Ikorodu local government areas saw CAMA’s implementing partner HACEY Health Initiative donate 600 insecticide treated nets, 1250 malaria rapid diagnostic tests kits and 1000 doses of IPTp-SP to 12 primary health facilities in the two local government areas, and information, education and communication materials to over 3,000 households.

It also trained community mobilizers and volunteers sensitized community members in their homes, shops, markets and parks using 4000 information and education materials – information pamphlets, stickers and banners.

The Chairman of Ijede Local Council Development Area, Mrs Motunrayo Gbadebo-Alogba, appreciated the organisers for bringing the intervention to Ikorodu and further emphasized the need for all community members to sleep under insecticide treated nets, especially pregnant women.

She also restated her committed to ensuring that pregnant women and children under 5 have access to preventive treatment of malaria.

Trained community mobilizers and volunteers were engaged in Ebonyi State to sensitize community members in their homes, shops, markets and parks using 4000 information and education materials – information pamphlets, stickers and banners.

The sensitization took place across 7 communities in the local government – Iyioji, Umuobo, Ihienta, Ndiachi, Ohakpu, Mgbede, and Ishiagu communities in Ivo local government area, reaching over 2000 community households directly through engagement.

Five hundred insecticide-treated nets, 1250 malaria rapid diagnostic tests kits and 1000 doses of IPTp-SP donated to 12 selected primary health facilities in Ivo local government area.

In addition, a community malaria testing and net distribution exercise took place in the Hanwa and Zabi communities of Sanbo-Gari North LGA in Kaduna state.

A total of 73 households were visited and Zabi community.

At the end of the community testing exercise, 451 people were tested including 171 pregnant women, with 281 testing positive to malaria and receiving free malaria treatment.

Executive Director of HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, expressed delight at the rate of participating pregnant women.

“It is no news that maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in several low- and middle-income countries is alarming, with about 34% of global maternal deaths occurring in Nigeria, as World Health Organization (WHO) records shows that the MMR of Nigeria is 814 per 100,000 live births,” she said.

“Hence, we are particularly grateful that 497 pregnant women were participants of the malaria testing in the three states.”

The project hopes to reach at least 5 million Nigerians through traditional media, a goal that has commenced through appearance on radio & TV programs.

CAMA is a coalition of companies with interests in Africa channels to drive impactful partnerships for malaria control and elimination in Africa, from workplaces to communities.