Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC joint Venture partnership yesterday offered reasons why the Roll Back Malaria programme was initiated and flagged off in the Igbogene community of Yenagoa Local Government Council area of Bayelsa State.
The programme, according to the Chevron/NNPC joint venture, is expected to last four months and involved enlightenment on malaria prevention, malaria testing/treatment, distribution of insecticide treated nets and sensitisation on the use of the nets as well as indoor residual spray in different houses in the communities.
The General Manager on Policy Government and Public Affairs, Mr. Esimaje Brikin during the flag off ceremony in Yenagoa explained that the Roll Back Malaria campaign was aimed at providing support for malaria prevention, including health promotion activities that would significantly reduce the prevalence of the disease and benefit the local population.
According to him, “This exercise is one of the social investment (SI) initiatives through which the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture seeks to add value to the health and development of Nigerians. We do appreciate the support and representation of His Excellency, Chief Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State. His representation here today is an indication of the importance the State Government attaches to health delivery.”
“This RBM programme aims to ensure better health for people by tackling the problem of malaria in a sustainable way. It consists of environmental sanitation and management which targets the environment which is the breeding areas for mosquitoes, the vector of malaria in 100 homes in Igbogene community. ”
“It also involves internal residual spraying of insecticide, testing and treatment of people for malaria, distribution and installation of free Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LIIN), capacity building for health workers and medical personnel as well as monitoring and evaluation.”
“We are proud of the tremendous successes recorded by us in past health programmes which, no doubt, were because of our collective commitment to improving healthcare delivery and by extension the quality of life of the people of Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta.”
He also noted that the Oil multinational, Chevron Nigeria Limited have in March 2016, concluded the first phase of the Chevron-sponsored Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PROMOT 1).” A few months after that, in July, we came to launch the ongoing PROMOT 2 programme.”
“PROMOT 1 was a great success as it contributed to the reduction of Bayelsa State’s HIV prevalence rates from 9.1% in 2010, the third highest among the 36 States in Nigeria, to 3.8% (15th position) by the end of the project’s third year in 2015. (Source: Technical Report, ANC 2014). We are very optimistic that after PROMOT 2, we would have even more impressive results.”
“We have done all these because we have always viewed the provision of quality healthcare delivery as a crucial social service that will help build a healthy citizenry and unlock the country’s human potential. This is what inspired our partnership with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health to establish the PROMOT projects in the past and this RBM programme.”
” The intervention aligns with our business and social objectives because we recognize the profound interdependence of healthy businesses and healthy societies.”
“Working with partners globally and at local levels, the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture will continue to dedicate resources and efforts to initiatives that build local capability and deliver real, lasting gains in the fight against devastating diseases including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.”
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof Ebitimitula Etebu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Kodjo Omietimi, pledged the support of the state government in ensuring the smooth implementation of the programme and called on the community leaders and the people to support the programme facilitators to achieve their objectives.
The commissioner commended the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture for the programme and emphasised that malaria was the most common disease in Nigeria and in Bayelsa which needs collaborative efforts by all to eradicate.