Saturday, October 8, 2016 1:50 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunication company, Etisalat and the Cross River State Government, in partnership with Mediatrix Development Foundation, have pledged to forge a close working relationship in the fight against the scourge of malaria in the State.
The partners made this commitment recently at the official flag-off of the Etisalat Fight Malaria Initiative and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will see them coordinate efforts and resources to eradicate the menacing spread of malaria in the State.
Speaking about the partnership, the Director, Regulatory & Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme, said the telecommunication company identifies a healthy populace as a precursor to achieving economic growth, hence the alignment of its business growth strategy with societal goals such as health.
“A nation can only be economically buoyant if it has a vibrant and strong work force, and a healthy population; hence our identification of health as one of our key platforms for Corporate Social Responsibility.As we play our part in the creation of a healthier nation, we enjoin all stakeholders to embrace technology and innovation in the fight against malaria.” he said.
Also speaking at the event, wife of the Cross River State Governor and founder of the partner NGO, Mediatrix Development Foundation, Dr. (Mrs) Linda Ayade, expressed delight in the capacity of the partnership to help fill the existing gap in the fight against malaria by providing the much needed support to the State structures in the health sector.
“I believe this is the beginning of a rejuvenated fight to end malaria for good in Cross River State. We are delighted that our efforts to check the effects of malaria in communities is yielding results and has attracted Etisalat to partner with us to strengthen existing state structures in the health sector,” she said.
The Etisalat Fight Malaria Initiative would facilitate the setting up of 40 Malaria Clubs in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the state with a mandate to reach approximately 25,000 people in the rural and urban areas, create a Malaria Hub of 2,650 peer educators and 3,150 Malaria Champions within two years.
Meanwhile, Etisalat has donated 40 computers and N1.5 Millionto boost ICT skills of students in public school by 25% in the next two years and for the sustenance of the Fight Malaria Clubs set up in various schools across the state.
Notable personalities at the event include Dr. Yakubu Aliyu, Deputy Coordinator, UNFPA; Secretary to the Cross River State Government, Barr. Tina Agbor; State Commissioners for Youth and Sports, Asu Okang and Information, Rosemary Archibong; Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Itiube Akpagu; Manager Corporate & Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, Oyetola Oduyemi; DG, CRS Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu and Chairman, House Committee on Health, CRSHA, Hon. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey.