In commemoration of the 2016 World Malaria Day, YEDI, with the support of ExxonMobil, initiated an environmental sanitation activity in Idi-Araba community of Lagos. Tagged Clean-Up To #EndMalaria, in line with this year’s theme – End Malaria for Good – and targeted at combating the scourge of malaria through a holistic approach, the sanitation exercise which took place on Monday 25, 2016, served as a platform for mobilizing members of the community, educating and engaging them on the importance of environmental sanitation in relation to Malaria prevention; as well as raising awareness around the benefits of fighting malaria effectively.
With several health workers, nurses and professional malaria testers on hand to attend to the mammoth crowd that turned out to clean their own environment under the supervision of YEDI staff members and volunteers, many people across the community who showed clear signs of malaria were tested free of charge while those who tested positive were treated. A total of 250 Long-lasting Insecticidal bed nets were also distributed free of charge especially to pregnant women and nursing mothers, with a demonstration of its usage to ensure they are put to proper use.
In her remarks before the cleaning commenced, YEDI’s Executive Director Anu Ishola reiterated the organization’s commitment to ensuring a holistic approach in the fight against malaria, while commending ExxonMobil’s long-standing and unwavering support in the global fight towards ending malaria for good as well as other partners for their support.“The goal to #EndMalaria for good is achievable but we must not neglect any aspect of the fight; even a tiny cog can mess up a big machine if not taken care of. So, thanks to our funders and supporters, we are here to demonstrate to this community and many others the importance of a clean environment when it comes to malaria because it’s related to the breeding of mosquitoes, the only known cause of malaria,” she said, noting that YEDI was therefore preachingthe message of tackling malaria from all angles.” The organization also embarked
on Home Visits, taking the message of malaria prevention and treatment including free bed nets to those who were not able to make the exercise. Other mini clinic services included free eye test, blood sugar test, blood pressure, and body Max Index, amidst malaria drama skits, up-to-date IEC (information, education and communication) materials, and music.
Present at the event were leaders of the community including Seriki Hausawa of Idi-Araba, Alhaji Idris Lawal Aruna; Baale (Obele Kolade Lawason), Alhaji F.B. Oseni; youth leader Garba Idris; representatives of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) who also provided technical support for the event; and several other local dignitaries and community members who all came out with their cleaning tools to participate in the exercise.
In his remarks, the LAWMA representative stressed the place of waste management and the habit of cleanliness in relation to Malaria and other diseases. On his part, Alhaji F.B. Oseni, commended the organization for the gesture and assured them of his readiness to ensure that the issue of cleanliness is taken seriously within the community. He called on LAWMA to ensure a timely disposal of the community’s waste. The exercise ended at 2pm.