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ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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Kicking malaria out

In a clear manifestation of passion, the ExxonMobil Foundation pursued the HIV/AIDS charity, Grassroot Soccer, to modify its model and extend it to fight malaria in West African communities.

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) was doing a good job in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia in using the convening power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV.

Speaking about  the collaboration to kick malaria out, ExxonMobil’s MichaelFinley,Regional Co-ordinator for Strategic Investments, told Eyes on Malaria that ExxonMobil gave some support to the Nigerian Youth Empowerment and Development

Initiative (YEDI) to introduce  the “Grazrutsoka” programme in Africa’s most populous country in 2011.

“YEDI is a Nigerian NGO committed to introducing practical innovative development solutions for adaptation in Nigeria. The GRS model in Southern Africa did fit with their mission.”

Mr Finley, said on World Malaria Day last year, YEDI partnered the Nigerian Army Medical Corps to sensitize children in a military camp about the killer disease.

“YEDI disseminated information about the Grazrutsoka prevention programme, educating children on the importance of using a bed net, how to hang the bed net properly, where to get tested for malaria and the need to take proper and complete medication if tested positive.”

Mr Finley, who is also in charge of ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs, said a partner NGO offered free malaria testing as a supplement to Grazrutsoka prevention programme.

Malaria / Haematocrit Football Tournament
Mr Finley said the team-up with YEDI enabled the charity to organize its first testing tournament for haematocrit and malaria in Nigeria.

Haematocrit test is used to check for anaemia. It is a blood test that tells us what proportion, by volume, of total blood cells is made up of red blood cells. Haematocrit is a part of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test.

If low, it can indicate mild conditions, such as not getting enough iron in the diet, or serious conditions, such as abnormal bleeding due to colon cancer or other health problems.

“The event, highlighting the importance of testing in correct diagnosis and treatment of malaria, had significant media coverage from top media houses.”

The event was successful as a total of 357 people (adults and youth) went for haematocrit testing and 250 people underwent malaria testing. An estimated 1,000 persons attended the event and many organizations, NGOs and private sector representatives attended.”

“Several articles highlighting the Grazrutsoka model were published in the media, expanding the reach of the message on the importance of testing before treatment.”

According to Mr Finley, the partnership with YEDI was broadened further to include other stakeholders for better impact.

“Throughout the programme implementation in 2012, YEDI continued to develop its ‘footprint’ in the market and made in-roads with several private companies and UN agencies. YEDI formed very strong and collaborative relationships with state authorities such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Youth and Sports.”
 
“It is our belief that each of these private, public and non-governmental sector partners bring unique strengths to the project and contributes to its success,” Mr Finley said.

“Since 2011, YEDI has trained 120 young coaches who now have the basic skills and confidence needed to serve as mentors for other youth. More than 4,000 children benefitted and graduated from the program in 2012. Everyone directly or indirectly involved with the project, teachers, students, coaches and the families of the children were tremendously
supportive and enthusiastic.”

The ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs official recollects some impressive aspects of the project which make it worthy of being maintained.

“GRS has developed a unique system of data management. One of the key advantages of working with Grassroot Soccer has been the use of the Salesforce data management system.

All attendance, pre/post data and demographic information is entered into a Salesforce platform that allows GRS to analyse, monitor and regularly report on progress toward the goals and objectives. GRS also runs the fun ‘Skillz’ curriculum which trains local youth to persuade friends and families and communities to stay healthy and avoid dangerous illnesses like malaria and HIV.

“It does this using local role models (professional soccer players, youth sport coaches, teachers, peer educators, etc.) with the tools to educate the youth between the ages of 12-18 in their communities.”

“It uses local heroes because children learn best from people they respect. Role models have a unique power to influence young minds. Young people listen to and emulate their heroes.”

“It is something so positive that it brings smiles to children’s faces even in the worst of circumstances. Sometimes,

simply holding a ball around the field can win you friendships and immediate access into a local community.”

“Several well-respected HIV prevention experts have served in an advisory capacity with the GRS including Albert Bandura, Martha Brady, Douglas Kirby, Thomas Coates, and Helen Epstein.”

“Additionally, YEDI administered pre/post surveys to evaluate the student’s knowledge, attitudes, and intended behaviours related to malaria transmission, seeking medical attention, bed net usage, stigma and discrimination, self-medication, HIV prevention and gender communication.”

“The survey confirmed several particularly strong results demonstrating that the program provides valuable information to fill knowledge gaps.”

“It showed a 24% increase in the number of students who will now go to a chemist to seek advice and testing if they have malaria symptoms. It also showed a 20% increase in the number of students who will complete the full dose of malaria medication even if they start to feel better before the medication is completed. Furthermore, it showed a 24% increase in the number of students who responded that malaria is not transmitted from drinking dirty water.”

A roundtable
Mr Finley spoke highly of a YEDI roundtable last November on “Corporate Social Responsibility: Building Brands, Reputation and Profits.”

“The renowned Marjorie Thompson, the Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Cause Connection delivered an engaging presentation on “Cause Related Marketing.

Representatives from Stanbic Bank, Friesland Campina, Bollore, Ipsos, and Multichoice attended thereby allowing YEDI to highlight the vital role the private sector plays in supporting and advocating good public health programmes.”

According to Mr Finley ExxonMobil is happy with the accomplishments made through the partnership with YEDI in creating the Nigerian Grazrutsoka.

“The GSR malaria programme in Nigeria, using the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to prevent and treat malaria, in less than two years has had a significant impact in the community fight against malaria. YEDI is well positioned to scale-up the Grazrutsoka prevention program in other communities in Nigeria.

“Owing to the successful impact of the Grazrutsoka prevention programme, ExxonMobil Foundation requested GRS to start a similar program in Equatorial Guinea and will begin to support GSR in Tanzania in 2013.”

 

 

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Tenth Edition