2023 World Malaria Day: MESHI Takes War against Malaria to Abagana

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) under the aegis of Malaria Eradication and Safe Health Initiative (MESHI) of Nigeria, last Tuesday took the fight against Malaria in Anambra State to Community Primary School, Ofenochi, Abagana, in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, as part of its activities to mark this year’s World Malaria Day celebration.

The Community Primary School is located inside St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Abagana.

Addressing the Management, teachers and pupils, the founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Professor Dennis Aribodor, said they were at St. Michael’s Parish to create awareness about the dangers posed to mankind by Malaria and also provide practical and lasting solutions to the menace, noting that Malaria had cut many lives short, especially pregnant women and children under the age of five.

According to Prof Aribodor, who is a professor of Public Health Parasitology of the Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, MESHI was founded in the year 2002 and was saddled with the responsibility of forming a strong partnership with government at all levels, charity organizations and public spirited individuals to put a stop to deaths occasioned by malaria, saying that they were dependent on foreign and local donors, especially charity organizations to carry out their activities.

The university don said that this year’s fund came from African Fashion Show, Australia and was attracted by a Professor of Surveying and Geo-informatics, Department of Surveying and Geo-informatics, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,

Prof Ebele Emengini.

‘We are grateful to African Fashion Show, Australia for her support and also to Professor Ebele Emengini for facilitating the funds. We were about ten NGOs across Africa that competed for the fund and eventually we won. We are really happy and thankful to our benefactors. We are open to partnership with the government, individuals, corporate bodies and charity organizations,’ Aribodor said.

The event which started with an opening prayer said by t

he Manager of the school and the Parish Priest of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Abagana, Reverend Father Anselm Okechukwu, witnessed a quiz competition geared towards inculcating in the pupils the measures to be taken to ensure a malaria free society.

The pupils, numbering over 200, were seen asking and answering questions from MESHI team. The pupils took the fight against malaria lessons from the ground and promised to put into practice all that they were taught.

In their separate speeches, the Manager of the school, Rev. Fr Okechukwu; the facilitator of the fund, Prof Ebele Emengini; officer in-charge of Njikoka Education Authority, Okonkwo Ify Joy, represented by the HoS, Quality Assurance, Okafor Chinenye; the Head Mistress of the school, Mrs Fidelia Nezieanya, urged the pupils to take seriously all they were taught and also to join spread the messages to others.

Chukwudilim Odobe came first in the quiz competition while Chimamanda Obiajulu and Chukwudumuaga Odobe came second and third respectively.

Items presented to the school’s management, teachers and pupils included, 4 packets of white board marker, 9 buckets with tap for pupils’ drinking water, 6 cartons of biscuits for pupils, 6 cartons of Hollandia Yoghurt for pupils, payment of one term school fees for the overall best in the quiz competition and giving out of insecticidal-treated mosquito nets to all participants in the quiz competition, as well as one carton of malt and some biscuits for teachers.

Quiz competition, presentation of prizes to the winners of the quiz, payment of one term school fees for overall best in the quiz competition, gifts for participants, all the pupils, the teachers and the school, questions and answers, formed highpoints of the event.