By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh
Uyo — NO fewer than 72,520 persons have benefitted from Africare Malaria Prevention programmes in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states. This was revealed by the Director of Malaria Programme, Africare, Dr. Patrick Adah at the weekend in Upenekang Ibeno Local Council of Akwa Ibom State, during the flagging off of this year’s World Malaria Day celebration.
According to Adah, beneficiaries of the international NGO, Africare, included 12, 579 children under five and 10, 480 pregnant women.
The organization, he stressed, was committed to malaria prevention in rural communities and had trained 172 health workers on rapid diagnostic testing, drug administration, logistics and proper data capturing and reporting.
Adah said that over 3,000 ExxonMobil contractors and their dependants had been sensitized, tested and treated of confirmed cases of malaria in Ibeno local council alone.
He disclosed that Africare had distributed 23, 075 rapid test kits and 38, 173 doses of Artemether Combination Therapy (ACT) in two communities each in Akwa Ibom and Rivers.
In its goodwill message, ExxonMobil noted that as a good corporate citizen, it had in the last 14 years invested in programmes geared towards prevention of malaria in Africa.
Represented by an officer in its Public and Government Affairs Department, Mr. Samuel Thomas, ExxonMobil said it has assisted in the distribution of 13 million bed nets so far in Africa.
Thomas said the company had assisted the state government to train 300 doctors and also pay 25 per cent of salaries of nurses accepting posting to riverine areas.
“By working together, we are ready to take action to protect the future and reduce incidence of malaria,” Thomas said.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emem Bassey said that all public health facilities in the state have been directed to offer free testing and treatment services to all citizens suffering from malaria in the state.
“We have provided anti-malaria drugs to all public health facilities in the state; we have artemether combination therapy (ACT),” he said.