Former beauty queen and host, Osas Ighodaro-Ajibade was part of the volunteers who participated in the advocacy walk for World Malaria Day. For the first time ever, Ekulo Group, Group Company for Evans Industries commemorated the World Malaria Day in Nigeria through an advocacy walk to sensitise the general public on the malaria pandemic. To help concretise the goal of the exercise, Meditol, an anti-mosquito soap formulated to actively combat malaria by warding off mosquitoes was unveiled.
Having lost a sister to malaria, Ighodaro emphasised that she will continue to use her celebrity status as an ex-beauty queen to harness resources to combat malaria through her Joyful Joy foundation. This walk provided a veritable platform for a partnership with the Ekulo Group to help eradicate malaria.
“I believe it is just a community at a time.” Ighodaro said explaining the aim and process of the advocacy walk. “I believe in any form of change, any form of action towards change is a good one… it takes one person to make a change, and that’s what we are all about: going from community to community, making a difference, spreading more joy.”
The World Malaria Day is held each year on April 25. The group marked the event with the rest of the world on Saturday, April 27. With the kickoff point being the National Stadium, volunteers arrived as early as 7:00am to partake in the walk. Prior to the walk, participants engaged themselves – through the guidance of a fitness instructor – in warm-up session of low intensity exercises to help them prepare for the 3km walk. The 3km walk was planned to come to a halt at the National Theatre, Iganmu.
For its maiden outing, the walk witnessed a massive turnout from participants who cut across various age demography and socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite these differences, each volunteer synced with the common goal to kick malaria out – a scourge that currently affects over 200 million persons worldwide.
Speaking at the event, group manager of Ekulo Group, Joseph Okonkwo expressed satisfaction at the number of people who partook in the walk.
“We are really impressed with the turnout today, and the enthusiasm. These people came out and embraced the whole exercise. I see a lot of young people; people of even older age; working class people, who decided to make this day a reality by massively turning out, and they are excited about what’s going on.”
In addition, he elaborated on the group’s intent to organise the event. “We just launched our new product which is geared towards warding off mosquitoes; we feel this is the right time – having got the right product – to be part of the program, World Malaria Day.”