TO stem the scourge of malaria in Nigeria, Reckitt Benckiser, through its insecticide brand, Mortein, weekend unfolded plans to reach 500,000 new mothers with series of awareness and education programmes that could help them to be free from the disease.
Speaking during the commemoration of the World Malaria Day at Tego Barracks open field, Marine Beach, Apapa area of Lagos, the Marketing Director, West Africa, Reckitt Benckiser, Mr. Oguzhan Silivrili, said the intervention became necessary due to the alarming death rate among children under the age of five and pregnant women as a result of malaria.
Silivrili noted that malaria has become a global health concern because millions of deaths occur annually due to malaria while in Africa alone, over 3,000 children have been reported to die daily from malaria. ‘‘As I speak to you, millions of people are suffering from malaria all over the world and 3,000 kids in Africa reportedly die daily from malaria’’, he said. He said the Mortein Anti-Malaria Campaign was launched in Nigeria and across some other African countries two years ago as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“We began the anti-malaria campaign two years ago and we have made significant progress, and now we are taking it to the next level this year. So, we are going to 500,000 new moms to educate them because our idea is not just giving the fish, but also educating the people how to fish.’’
The Marketing Director added that combating malaria required a collective action both by government and the private sector. ‘‘So we will have to educate people on how to prevent malaria instead of curbing it.
In order to be able to do that we go to mums and we educate them. We go to children; we educate them and that is the mission we have.
‘‘Our campaign this year is that even one mosquito bite can cause malaria, so that is why we need to kill hundred percent of the mosquitoes and in order to be able to do that we will be educating them to use insecticide products and Mortein is one of them’’, he stated.
As part of the activities to mark the day, Mortein also presented certificates and gifts to babies that were born on the World Malaria Day at some public hospitals in Lagos. The hospitals included General Hospital, Ajeromi where Mrs. Gift Odia and her baby boy were presented with a certificate and gifts. The second hospital was the Primary Health Centre, Ijora where Mrs. Kafayat Tajudeen and her new born girl also received a certificate and gifts from the Mortein brand.