Reckitt Benckiser (Nigeria) Ltd, RB, makers of insecticide Brand, Mortein, in continuation of its fight against Malaria has reaffirmed its commitment in achieving a Malaria-free Nigeria in a press briefing to commemorate the world malaria day, which held on Thursday 21st April, in Lagos.
Mortein in partnership with the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) through the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH) commissioned a research which it tagged the “Mortein Own a Community Project” in Kosofe LGA of Lagos state.
The objective of the Mortein Own a Community project was to quantify the efficacy of adherence to the WHO three core integrated Malaria prevention methods of reducing Malaria. In this project, Mortein adopted a community, provided Mortein Insecticide, long lasting insecticide treated nets and Larvicides to the residents and educated them on malaria prevention methods. The final result showed a significant reduction in the cases of malaria especially amongst children in homes where all the interventions provided to them were used.
Speaking at the Mortein Own a Community Project press briefing to mark the 2016 World Malaria Day, the Marketing Director, RB, West Africa, Oguzhan Silivrili, stated that the project was a huge success, revealing that a 55 per cent reduction of malaria cases among children under the age of 10 was achieved in Kosofe Local Government Area through the project.
According to Oguzhan, over half a million (627, 000) people die from malaria each year, 25% of these in Nigeria, mostly among children under the age of five. “As I speak to you, millions of people are suffering from malaria all over Nigeria and every minute a child reportedly dies from malaria,” he said.
He added that, “Malaria is not a destiny for Nigerian children, malaria is preventable. We have proved this in Kosofe with a 55% reduction in Malaria cases in children in only 6 months. To replicate the success of the project, we would go from community to community, house to house and mom to mom with the help of grass-root NGOs, to distribute insecticide treated nets and Mortein, as well as educate them on how to protect themselves and their families against Malaria”
He further stated that the Mortein Own a Community Campaign Research, in partnership with the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) through the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH) gives further credence to the 3 core methods of integrated malaria vector control, and that if Nigerians can adopt and adhere strictly to the recommended measures, we stand a chance at eliminating Malaria in Nigeria.
In his presentation, Dr. Sam Awolola, Public Health Vector Control Specialist & Head, Malaria Research Program, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, who led the project exercise, said the six-month project was to assess the efficacy of the combined interventions of Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs), Larviciding and Mortein on malaria prevention at select mosquito hot spots in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.
According to his confirmation, there was a 55% reduction in the cases of malaria amongst children under the age of 10, in homes where all the interventions provided to them were used. He commended Mortein for its contribution towards the fight against malaria in Nigeria and also stressed that community participation and cooperation is very key to the success of major malaria vector control programmes.
Reiterating Mortein’s commitment to eradicating Malaria, Marketing Manager, Mortein, Bamigbaiye-Elatuyi Omotola stated that Mortein has been at the forefront of the fight against Malaria in Nigeria. “In the past few years, Mortein has partnered with the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Lagos state Ministry of Health (LSMOH) and various state ministries of health to foster education on malaria prevention via TV infomercials and at primary healthcare centers . We have taken it a step further with the Mortein Own a Community Project and we do not intend to stop in Kosofe only. We intend to implement this all across Nigeria, starting with Lagos state. Mortein is partnering with the Civil Society for Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN) in Lagos state, and over the next couple of months will replicate the Own a Community Project proven steps to malaria prevention across 20 select grass-root communities in Lagos state,” she said.
Also speaking at the press briefing, Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos, Ronald Kayanja commended Mortein’s work on malaria prevention in Nigeria. He also stated that initiatives like the Mortein Own a Community Project is supporting the United Nations to achieve a part of goal 3 (section 3.3) of the sustainable development goals; “To end the epidemic of Malaria by 2030.”
In her goodwill message, Advocacy Sensitisation Mobilization Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Akintunde Ibironke, representing the honourable commissioner of health for Lagos state, commended Mortein for its work and continuous support in the fight against malaria through its collaboration with the government and innovative solutions. She therefore pledged the Lagos State government’s commitment to work with RB/Mortein to ensure the implementation of this initiative at every local government within the State.