Africa: Corporates Reinforce Efforts to Fight Malaria

Ibanda — Standard Chartered Bank Uganda and Century Bottling Company, the bottlers of Coca Cola, have partnered with Church of Uganda to donate over one million mosquito nets to needy communities in western Uganda.

Under the partnership dubbed Nets-for-life, the two companies also gave out 300 mosquito nets to families of children with disabilities in Ibanda district (Western Uganda).

"The partnership has made 6 years in the fight against malaria with specific emphasis on fighting malaria among pregnant mothers, children under 5 years and of late children under 5 years with disability," said Standard Chartered head of Corporate Affairs, Herbert Zake.

Statistics indicate that malaria is still the number one killer with 330 people dying every day in Uganda, the highest recorded malaria incidences in the world. Malaria kills a child in Africa every 30 seconds and nearly one million people each year. Malaria is endemic in 95% of Uganda, accounting for 25-40% of outpatient visits to health facilities and nearly half of inpatient pediatric deaths. Worldwide, 3.3 billion people are at risk of malaria - that's half of the world population. 91% of malaria deaths occur in Africa; 85% of these are children under 5 years of age

Mr. Masiko David, Programme Manager for Church of Uganda-Planning Development and Rehabilitation Malaria Control Programme noted, "In addition to the death toll, malaria contributes to the cycle of poverty and limits economic development as it costs Africa at least $12 billion in lost productivity every year."

Zake stressed that the fight against malaria is still an uphill task that requires continued support. "There is a need to fight malaria in the disabled children in an effort to protect further disability that comes by succumbing to malaria while pregnant," he said.

The Nets-for-life program is implemented by Church of Uganda it has reached over 1.8million people in different parts of the country.

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