Miral Pharm Commences Essay Contest for Undergraduates

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Uchechukwu Nnaike

As part of efforts to eradicate malaria in the country, an indigenous pharmaceutical company, Miral Pharm Limited, has called for entries for its essay competition for students in tertiary institutions starting with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

The topic for this year’s edition is in line with the theme for the 2016 World Malaria Day which is ‘End Malaria for Good’. The scheme is targeted at promoting health literacy and research.

To enter for the competition, participants are required to register and submit their essays which should not exceed 1,000 words through an online portal. The registration and submission is expected to end on March 1, 2017. The online registration and submission portal can be accessed through the company’s website www.miralpharm.com.

Prizes to be won include one-year scholarship and a trip to selected facilities in India for the first prize; the second prize winner will get one-year scholarship with a laptop; while the third prize will be offered one-year scholarship. Consolation prizes will also be won.

According to the Managing Director, Mr. Onyeka Onyeibor, the company is hopeful that the essays would uncover actionable research interests and as such, Miral Pharm is favourably disposed to supporting such research efforts.

Through the ‘End Malaria for Good’ project, he said the company intends to encourage thinking and improve expressions among students, as well as contribute knowledge to the country’s research base.

He noted that at the commemoration of the 2016 World Malaria Day, it was made known that about 31 million Nigerians were diagnosed with malaria in the previous year.

“This is far from the expectation of the World Health Organisation in the eradication of malaria. In the process of elimination of malaria, pre-elimination stage is expected to observe less than one case per 1,000 persons. Achieving this great feat in the eradication of malaria involves a conscious effort that requires research and collaborations.

“At Miral Pharm, we value people, excellence, courage and goodness hence, we are committed to encouraging people to be the best they are capable of being. We take pride in investing in the lives of the next generation by empowering them with what they need to take on this stride.”
The Project Coordinator, Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi, added that each essay would be evaluated based on its ingenuity, structure, insightfulness, content and language style by three independent examiners. She warned that plagiarism will not be permitted therefore students are expected to reference the source of any information used.

Nnamdi Azikiwe University will be the pilot institution, while subsequent editions are expected to include other universities in the country.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, thanked the company for its ingenuity and love in promoting health literacy and research among Nigerian students and for choosing the university for the pilot phase which he said is founded on the philosophy that knowledge should be propagated and disseminated to individuals without hindrance.
“Teaching and research is anchored on the needs of the Nigerian and international society generally. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, after whom the university is named, stands out clearly in the history of university education in Nigeria and Africa in general.

“In the discharge of its mission, the university shall live up to the ideals of this renowned statesman by making university education pragmatic and using it to forge unity among the various communities in Nigeria and the international community. The future begins here.”