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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Edo State sees launch of Dangote Cement’s new malaria intervention programme

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The Dangote Cement company has launched a malaria intervention programme for host communities in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

With the launch, the cement manufacturing company has begun to administer free anti-malaria treatments to residents in host communities.

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This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday, 9 May.

According to the Group Head of Sustainability, Dangote Cement Plc, Igazeuma Okoroba, the programme was initiated to improve access to quality health care in host communities.

Mrs Okoroba described the relationship between the company and host communities as robust while noting that the goal is to bring health care closer and reduce the risk of malaria among the people.

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She said: “Today’s campaign in Okpella, therefore, aims to engage our communities, bring health care close to where people live, and address factors that increase malaria risk while demonstrating our corporate social responsibility.

“As we observe, a significant portion of the population lacks access to vital healthcare services. Dangote Cement PLC aims to bridge this gap by addressing disparities in our host communities.

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“We believe that healthy people are the foundation for healthy economies, and for this reason, countries are taking decisive actions to counteract health challenges. Our target for this campaign is Edo State”.

Beneficiaries speak

A beneficiary of the programme, Adiza Aliu, said the programme has improved her access to healthcare.

She said after being diagnosed with malaria, officials of the programme gave her drugs and mosquito net free of charge.

She said, “They asked me to be sleeping under the net to prevent malaria. Look at the drugs they gave me. I didn’t pay any money.”

Another beneficiary, Innocent Valentina, said the initiative is alleviating the suffering of the people as regards healthcare.

Eliminating malaria

Also speaking, the programme’s General Manager for training and development, Sunday Adodua, stated that with the programme, malaria could be eliminated if residents comply with instructions.

He said if people use judiciously anti-malaria tools given to them, the disease could be eliminated.

“The essence of this programme is to make life more meaningful for the people of our host communities who are vulnerable in terms of finance and resources to afford good medical establishments for treatment.”

Mr Adodua also noted that Dangote Cement has a robust CSR programme for host communities, which has been ongoing for a year.

Currently, Nigeria contributes about 27 per cent of the global burden of the disease, the highest in Africa. It also accounts for about 31.3 per cent of deaths from malaria, the largest globally.

READ ALSO: Foreign exchange translation gains lift Dangote Cement’s income to N1 trillion

The disease, which is caused by tiny parasites called Plasmodium, is responsible for 11 per cent of maternal deaths and 25 per cent of deaths in infants.

Also, the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) reported that Malaria accounts for 60 per cent of outpatient visits to health facilities across the country and 30 per cent of childhood deaths.

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