As part of activities to mark World Malaria Day (WMD) 2016, telecommunications company, Etisalat has announced plans to commemorate it by setting up ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ across secondary schools in Nigeria.
The ‘Clubs’ initiative is designed to educate secondary students on what it will take to eliminate the prevalence of malaria in Nigeria. Furthermore, the establishment of these clubs will help to meet the strategic priorities and approaches that will facilitate the dissemination of advocacy tools and information for empowerment against malaria. These approaches will include regular activities, which will be organized for the students such as training sessions, conferences talks by experts, internal and external competitions, which will be used to disseminate information to the students.
Speaking on this initiative, Director, Regulatory & Corporate Social Responsibility, Etisalat Nigeria, Ikenna Ikeme, said, “We have chosen to begin with two of our adopted schools; Akande Dahunsi Memorial Junior and Senior Secondary School and they will serve as a pilot for the project. We have also identified an implementing partner to drive this project and plan to roll out subsequently to our other adopted schools soon.”
According to him, Etisalat decided to set up these clubs in order to establish fundamental change in attitudes, and understanding of the harmful effects of malaria, which result in the high rate of deaths in Nigeria. “The purpose of the Fight Malaria school clubs is to help create change in behaviour in households, through informing and educating school children on how to control malaria,” he noted.
With the establishment of the clubs, Etisalat will work with the schools to train the students, helping them acquire skills in using technology and other means to fight malaria, for personal and community impact. They will also learn how to implement malaria prevention programs in their various homes, surroundings and community at large. Vital to this will be the mobilization of their peers and other community members to take action that will help to prevent and control malaria; and by leveraging technology (social media and blogging) they can also promote malaria prevention messages.