Special Olympics Nigeria, in conjunction with ExxonMobil, at the weekend marked the 2017 World Malaria Day with a Unified Soccer Tournament at St. Finbarrâ€™s College in Akoka Lagos.
In the novelty match line-up as one of the activities to raise awareness on Malaria and HIV, Team Hospital defeated Team Malaria 2-0 while the Unified soccer match ended goalless.
Speaking at the end of the matches, Special Olympic Nigeria’s Skillz Acquisition Project Coordinator, Sylvester Oboh, considered the event a huge success.
â€œApart from the football matches, the 2017 World Malaria Day was a huge success in terms of raising awareness for both malaria and HIV in the country. We had over 50 schools in Lagos State participating in our programmes. As you can see here, more than 500 families turned up at our programme here at St Finbarrâ€™s College today,â€ stressed the SO Nigeria project coordinator.
In the Family Health Forum (FHF) segment of the programme, health talks were given to some of the families that turned up on Malaria and HIV prevention.
There were also voluntary counseling and testing on malaria and HIV while mosquito nets were also distributed to participants at the event.
According to the project coordinator, Special Olympic Nigeria is using the grassroots soccer to educate athletes on malaria and HIV/AIDS using football as a learning tool.
â€œThis 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,â€ Oboh further stressed.
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).
â€œIt is 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,â€ concludes Oboh as most of the players and their families were entertained with launch and good music to cap the event.