Lagos - Local initiatives to fight malaria have received a major boost after a mobile network operator pledged its commitment to compliment government efforts to curb the transmission on the disease.
Etisalat Nigeria has introduced the campaign title “Malaria Free Nigeria: Play your Part”, as a social responsibility commitment.
Director Brands and Communications at Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye, said his company was digging into two of its core brand philosophies of customer-centricity and social responsibility to support the project in the belief that health is wealth.
“At Etisalat we believe that the customer comes first and for us it is not just about ways of making money. We are eager to impact on people and communities which is why we are partnering with established organizations on this project that will help people enjoy better health by warding off malaria,” he said.
The initiative according to him include radio and television campaigns to air nightly throughout 2014 and featuring some of Nigeria’s most popular celebrities like Bez, Femi Kuti, Funke Akindele, I Go Dye, Mikel Obi, Stephen Keshi, Victor Moses, Vincent Enyeama, Waje and Zebrudaya.
He said that the messages will be geared towards reminding people to sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets, seek timely diagnosis as well as appropriate treatment with a view to building on Malaria No More’s innovative “NightWatch Campaign” which is already proving successful in four other African countries.
At the launch of the initiative in Abuja, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu highlighted the health and economic burden of malaria in Nigeria.
He reiterated Nigeria’s efforts to combat the scourge, particularly government’s commitment to funding anti-malaria efforts like the Malaria-Free Nigeria Campaign.
“The federal and state ministries of health currently use integrated vector management, including long-lasting insecticidal nets, indoor residential spraying of insecticides and environmental management to combat malaria. The Malaria-Free Nigeria Campaign will reemphasise the government’s strategy and the need to fast track the process of eliminating malaria in Nigeria,” said the minister.
Other partners on the initiative include, Africa Independent Television (AIT), Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Rivers State Television, Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation, Silverbird Television, Total Nigeria and ExxonMobil Foundation.
Malaria remains one of the silent killers in Nigeria as more than 600 000 deaths are recorded annually.
– CAJ News