Rural dwellers benefit from total’s roll back malaria scheme
In an effort to end malaria, especially among rural dwellers, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPENG), with its NNPC joint venture has carried out roll back malaria campaign to communities in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
About 400 persons, including pregnant women, men, youths, elderly and children from Amah, Idu, and Egi communities in the Council benefited from the scheme on Tuesday.The beneficiaries received free medical screening and consultations from the medical team sponsored by TEPENG. They were also given insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-malaria drugs.
The doctors sensitized and enlightened residents on benefits of maintaining clean environment, which according to them remains one of the most cost effective ways to reduce mosquitoes, which are the major carriers of malaria parasite.The Medical team leader, Dr. Azubuike Okara, said: “ The aim of the exercise is to create awareness of the economic and health impact of malaria and enlighten the people about the preventive measures of the disease”.
He pointed out that, malaria has significant economic impact on families, states and the nations.According to the medical expert: “Malaria perpetuates a vicious circle of poverty in the developing countries, it has affected a lot of countries, malaria kills, so it needs to be given serious attention.”
Dr. Okara said, if people adhere to the preventive measures and advice given to them, the disease would be eradicated and the economy would thrive.Speaking also, the Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs and Development of TEPENG, Mr. James Urho, reiterated that the roll back malaria initiative was founded in 1988 by the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to control malaria.
He added that the initiative supports research and development of new products and tools to promote an effective control strategy to combat the disease.Represented by the Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs, Okechukwu Obara, Urho lamented that malaria is estimated to have cost Nigeria N132b yearly, including treatments and prevention costs as well as working hours.
He said studies have also shown that the disease is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90 percent deaths occur.“In Nigeria, the disease is responsible for 60 percent of out patient visits to health facilities, 30 percent of childhood deaths and 11 percent of maternal deaths.”“It is in the light of the foregoing that NNPC/TEPENG Joint Venture supports the roll back malaria campaign as one of the public health programmes that has large benefit for our host communities”
Urho encouraged the rural residents to embrace the initiative with change and alertness, and become proactive to take actions to treat malaria where it has been diagnosed and prevent its occurrence through use of insecticide treated bed nets and environmental cleanliness.Michael Ajie and Mrs. Franka Ochia, expressed joy over the gesture, assuring that they would utilize the insecticide treated nets given to them.
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