Participants at the event in Abuja
By Aderogba George
As the world marks the 2022 World Malaria Day (WMD), some stakeholders have called
for conscious efforts to end malaria disease in the country.
The stakeholders made the call in Abuja at a Malaria Basketball Exhibition game and clinic.
The game, organised by stakeholders comprising PanAfricare, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and ExxonMobil,
was in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the partners are collectively implementing a project under the name “Power Forward”
since 2013 in the FCT, Abuja.
The Project Manager of Power Forward, Mr Terfa Akpoyibo, said the choice of basketball to convey malaria elimination message
was because of the correlation between basketball game and malaria through the “Nets”.
According to him, basketball uses nets to count points in the game, while malaria prevention also uses net as a preventive measure
to free oneself from mosquito bite.
He added that “one of the surest ways to prevent malaria is to sleep inside the net, so there is a correlation between the two nets.
Malaria is prevented through bed net and net is used in basketball to count for points.’’
Dr Patrick Adah, the Country Director, PanAfricare Nigeria, said that the Power Forward project was currently being implemented in
40 schools of the FCT.
He added that the project had reached out to over 292,000 people with malaria prevention messages.
He said “PanAfricare arouses interest of students in public health interventions, making them public health champions and
today, they are all malaria champions.
“Through this Power Forward project, we have reached over 292,000 people with malaria prevention messages in schools and communities.
“We have engaged about 3,600 in-school students in public health awareness and life skill education in the FCT.
“The Malaria Exhibition Game has proved that with coordinated efforts by everyone, malaria can be eliminated in Nigeria.”
Gbemisola Abudu, NBA Africa Vice President, also said that the Power Forward project had been able to impact the lives of people in
Abuja through the basketball game by creating awareness on malaria.
Abudu, who is also the Country Head, NBA Nigeria, commended ExxonMobil, PanAfricare and the malaria partners for making the
malaria basketball game a reality.
She added that it was important to raise awareness about malaria since it had been recognised as a killer disease.
According to her, malaria affects the youth largely and if the youth must attain their potential in life, there is need for them to have good health.
She said that the basketball malaria game was all about educating students to prevent the disease, as well as raising awareness generally about
the killer disease and to have enough information about it.
Dr Perpetua Uhomoibhi, the National Coordinator of NMEP, urged Nigerians to play their part to ensure malaria was eliminated in the country,
saying that government cannot do the work alone.
She stressed the need for clean environment to avoid breeding of mosquitos, being the transmitters of the disease. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)