Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC/MPN) joint venture, has been commended for its commitment toward the prevention and control of malaria among host communities in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
Africare, a non governmental organisation involved in health campaigns, gave the commendation during the demonstration on the proper method of hanging Long Lasting Insecticide Nets as parts of activities marking this year’s World Malaria Day celebration at Odio in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Africare, which is supported by Mobil, noted that the oil company had through the Malaria Prevention Supplier Communities (MAPS-C) project taken concrete steps to the fight against the menace of malaria in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
According to Ime Akpan, Africare project coordinator in the state, Odio, a riverine community was selected for the promotion of net use because though the government had earlier distributed about 1,500, the nets were not properly used. Results of the baseline survey in Ibeno and Eket Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, according to Africare showed that LLIN ownership was 73 percent while use was 48 percent.
Akpan gave an overview of malaria transmission, treatment, prevention and control and outlined the activities of the scheme in the two local government areas, adding that Africare has so far procured more than 2000 testing facilities for malaria, about 18,000 doses of malaria treatment drugs and 2000 doses of SP for IPTP. He also stated that these testing facilities and malaria drugs are available in the health centres for community members to access free of charge.
He advised people with fever to visit the health centres within 24 hours to access the services. Also, he stated that sleeping under the net every night is one of the measures to combat the malaria and therefore urged the community members to open their houses for the Red Cross Volunteers to help them hang the net. Also, the Roll Back Malaria manager in the area represented by Emem Higgins commended the oil company for assisting people in the prevention of malaria.
The Red Cross Volunteers demonstrated net hanging and folding every morning to the community members while the Africare team explained that the Nets and the drugs for malaria would be given free in Health post at Odio as well as other health facilities supported by Africare in Eket and Ibeno LGAs.
This was followed by demonstration of how to hang the LLINs. After this demonstration, the household members (mostly mothers and youths) were encouraged to tie the net and mistakes were corrected. LLINs were hung in 118 households and the community members were so happy with the event.
In Rivers State, about 400 people involving; women, children, pregnant mothers as well as old people and representatives of Bolo council of chiefs, women leaders, youth leaders, head of the PHC centre in Bolo Community and of the Anglican communion of Bolo were attended to.