By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
Ten thousands youth in schools and vulnerable communities will benefit from the Power Forward programme organised by ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the international NGO Africare.
Power Forward community events include malaria prevention where the youth distributed 2,129 bed nets along with personal hygiene products to men, women and children in internally displaced persons (IDP) camp.
According to a statement by the Media Relations Manager, Habib Balogun,The goal of this year’s edition of the youth development programme, which is into its fourth year, is to equip the participants with life skills information, while 6,000 bed nets will be distributed and 20 hand wash stations installed to promote hygiene and promote exemplary leadership skills.
In his remarks, Franck Traore, Technical Director, NBA Africa, said: “This programme has held three major kick off events with more than 6,000 students and VIPs in attendance. We have embarked on several interventions at IDP centres for malaria prevention and sanitation exercise.”
He further explained that Power Forward, through its focus on health, builds on efforts by the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative to combat malaria in Nigeria. The successful malaria initiative works with a range of partners to prevent, treat and, ultimately, eliminate malaria especially in pregnant women and children under 5 who constitute the most vulnerable.
Since 2000, ExxonMobil-supported programmes have distributed more than 14 million bed nets, nearly three million diagnostic tests and more than four million anti-malaria treatments, reaching more than 125 million people worldwide.
The Power Forward project also supports the Federal Government’s National Malaria Control Programs’ advocacy on youth development and public health, which ExxonMobil also supports through its health initiatives in the country.
The world has made remarkable progress against malaria in recent years: between 2000 and 2015, global malaria mortality rates decreased by 60 per cent and initiatives to combat the disease saved more than 6 million lives.