Special Olympics Nigeria to Host 2017 World Malaria Day

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In an effort to commemorate the World Malaria Day 2017 and through the support of ExxonMobil, Special Olympics Nigeria will tomorrow host activities including a Unified Soccer Tournament to raise awareness on Malaria and HIV. The official theme for the 2017 World Malaria Day is “End Malaria for Good”.

The Unified Soccer Tournament and the other activities to mark the day have been listed to take place at the St Finbarr’s College in Akoka, Lagos.

According to the programme released yesterday, attendees to this year’s event will be invited to take part in activities such as a Family Health Forum (FHF) where Health Talks on Malaria and HIV with demonstrations will be given, Voluntary Counseling and Testing on Malaria and HIV and distribution of mosquito nets.

In 2017, SO Nigeria will be implementing the initiative in four states in south-south Nigeria namely Akwa Ibom, Edo, Cross River and Rivers states and in four states in south-east Nigeria – Abia, Anambra, Enugu and Imo state.

SO Nigeria will collaborate with Grassroots Soccer, to educate our athletes on Malaria and HIV/AIDS using football as a learning tool. This is an effective platform for bringing together and providing people with intellectual disabilities as well as the community with relevant information about the prevention of Malaria and HIV/AIDS, treatment, as well as basic life-saving skills.

Special Olympics Nigeria is part of a worldwide movement (Special Olympics international) that is aimed at changing the misconceptions individuals have about people with intellectual disabilities (PWID). Our mission is to provide year round sports training and athletics competitions in a variety of Olympic – type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing continuous opportunities to develop physical fitness and skills required to manage day to day life.
World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, WHO’s decision making body; World Malaria Day, is a day set aside to raise awareness on the need for continuous investment and support to various countries, in their efforts to combat Malaria and its associated problems, as well as provide information and support where necessary for communities prone to malaria. It is commemorated every year on April 25.

According to WHO’s World Malaria Report 2016, in 2015, there were 212million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths. One child dies from malaria every two minutes. It is estimated that globally, 3.3billion people in 106 countries are at risk of Malaria resulting in over 198 million cases while some 627,000 deaths occurred in 2012 as a result of malaria infection. The World Malaria Report 2015 further states that 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths occur in Africa while sub-Sahara Africa accounts for 76% of malaria cases and 75% of malaria deaths globally. The report also states that 70% of malaria deaths occur in children under five years.

In 2015 and 2016, SO Nigeria implemented the ExxonMobil Malaria/HIV Initiative in special schools/centres in Lagos state.

According to Exxon Mobil corporate citizenship report, in 2015, ExxonMobil contributed $12.5 million to fight Malaria. In the past fifteen years, ExxonMobil Foundation has been in the forefront of the fight against Malaria in the world. The report states that Exxon Mobil has given about $146 million dollars in grant to NGOs to combat malaria.