Nigerians alongside various corporate organisations are not resting on their oars in the control and eradication of malaria scourge in the country that is increasing maternal and child mortality among pregnant women and children under-five. This is coming as the World Health Organisation tagged this year’s World Malaria Day ‘End Malaria for Good 2020’.
It is, therefore, in line to create a lasting solution that Kantar TNS, a data investment management and research firm, took a team of medical experts into Mende Village (rural land) in Maryland and Ojodu Berger areas of Lagos State on a two-day public awareness, education workshop and distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to about 1,000 Lagosians including 250 pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under five in the community.
“Malaria is a big challenge which unfortunately, everybody trivialises not only in Nigeria but the world. It kills half a million yearly. And those affected most are poor people – children and pregnant mothers,” says the MD, Kantar Nigeria, Mr. Aggrey Maposa.
He told THISDAY during the programme that they thought of what to do for people who do not have access to knowledge, healthcare, preventive measures and immediate medication. “Hence, we decided in our own small way to educate people in the community around us on better protection. We partnered Non-Such HMO, Rotary International and KICC for this move.”
For this cause, insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed to over 300 pregnant women and nursing mothers present, anti-malaria drugs were given to participants after free test conducted.
Now, having been in Ojodu vicinity for 40 years now, the MD says this is not Kantar’s first CRS. Kantar has visited Modupe Cole Orphanage in Akoka where it donated nets to hospitals; to mark its first day Kantar celebrated with kids from Dustbin Village, Bariga distributed gifts and offered 20 scholarships to children; relationships with tertiary institutions to support intellectual development and works with UNICEF across the world on many other developmental initiatives. “We owe it to these communities.”
And because WHO is placing a special focus on prevention, a critical strategy for reducing the burden of a disease that continues to kill more than 400,000 people annually with children under-five and pregnant women mainly at risk, he assured: “We are committed to training and enlightening these people on better living in clean environment.”
But to contribute to the massive unfinished gender – that one child dies every two minutes – Dr. Gerald Ezeani of Non-Such HMO, says that control of the disease is employed in tackling the vector not just sharing nets. “Here, we teach and encourage these people to use these nets, maintain clean environment to destroy vector and breeding places through fumigation.