Mr Ned Nwoko, founder and president of Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation (PNNF), a humanitarian group, has taken the organisation’s ‘Malaria Eradication In Africa Project’ to Antarctica to address the scourge in Africa.
Mr Nosike Ogbuenyi, Strategic Communication Advisor of the PNNF, made the development known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Ogbuenyi, the expedition to Antarctica, the earth’s southernmost continent on the geographic South Pole, is to interact with leading researchers working on more effective drugs for the control of the deadly disease.
“The historic Antarctica expedition is for the symbolic launch of his malaria eradication in Africa project and to draw global attention to the monumental health challenge as well as finding a permanent solution.
“The fact that it is often forgotten by many is that malaria is the biggest killer disease in Africa, and it irks the mind of Prince Ned Nwoko, who is currently in Antarctica.
“He has vowed to awaken the continent and the world on the dangers posed by the pandemic, which nudged him to embark on the expedition to Antarctica to formally launch the malaria eradication campaign.
“To him, the journey towards a malaria-free Nigeria and Africa is not just worthwhile, but realistic.
“In the project, the Ned Nwoko Foundation will work with national and multilateral organisations to realise its goal of ridding Africa of mosquito and malaria,” he said.
The PNNF’s “Malaria Eradication In Africa Project” was launched on Dec. 18, 2019, in Abuja with the aim of ridding Africa of the disease.
Nwoko said his foundation was worried by the devastating effects of the malaria scourge in Africa and was set to work towards a malaria-free continent in the foreseeable future.
According to him, the PNNF’s short-term delivery plan on the malaria eradication programme is a national mobilisation for the fumigation of Nigeria and other African countries.
He said as an ex-member of the House of Representatives, he planned to push for legislation at the National Assembly for a National Fumigation Day or week in Nigeria and to encourage same in other African countries.
He added that the long-term plan was investing in the development of an anti-malaria vaccine, as the foundation planned to establish Academic Research Grants for Malaria Vaccine in universities spread across the African continent.
According to him, the grants shall be available for scientific scholars in Africa, with a proper selection process and body of judges for the most qualified students and researchers to access.
“I have approved the sum of 750,000 dollars for that research, and the grants shall be accessed by selected scientific scholars in Africa.
“Malaria is seen as an African problem and it should, therefore, be handled by Africans, but our leaders have not shown the will and determination in this regard.
“Presently, only six countries out of 54 that make up the African continent are recognised by the World Health Organisation as malaria-free while the remaining 47 are endemic countries,” he said.