THE Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, a major player in the global LNG business, has intensified efforts, targeted at eliminating malaria from Bonny Island in Rivers state, through the Bonny Malaria Elimination Project, BNYMEP.

The important project, which dates back to 2019 aims at achieving pre-elimination status and institutionalization of surveillance systems for elimination and prevention of reintroduction of malaria in Bonny Island.

In its report – NLNG Funded Bonny Malaria Elimination Project – obtained by Vanguard, the company, stated: “The interventions for this project were derived from the National Malaria Strategic Plan and the Global Technical Strategy for malaria elimination by the World Health Organisation. The vision of this project aligns with global direction, which is to achieve a malaria-free status in Bonny Island and become the first malaria-free zone in Nigeria. This keys into the companies Bonny-Dubai vision for the Island and helping to build a better Nigeria.

“In 2019, the project initiation phase was completed with novel activities such as the first ever sub-national malaria indicator survey, which served as baseline and evidence for the project’s strategic direction. The survey findings and strategy were presented at a national meeting with international malaria stakeholders such as the United States Government President’s Malaria Initiative (USG-PMI), Global Fund and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This projected the company as the first private sector organisation to fund an impact-focused project in the health development landscape. This got the attention of all global front-runners in malaria elimination and earned the company an invitation to an exclusive meeting in Washington with the Global Coordinator for USG-PMI, who seats at the level of an ambassador in the USG. This meeting took place in Baltimore, Maryland USA and NLNG was the only organisation given that exclusive opportunity. A relationship was fostered, and this led to a visit by the USG-PMI technical team, to Bonny Island in January 2020 as a prelude to the signing of an MOU between both parties.

“The Bonny Malaria Elimination Project (BNYMEP) commenced in 2019 with the aim of achieving pre-elimination status and institutionalization of surveillance systems for elimination and prevention of reintroduction of malaria in Bonny Island. The interventions for this project were derived from the National Malaria Strategic Plan and the Global Technical Strategy for malaria elimination by the World Health Organisation. The vision of this project aligns with global direction, which is to achieve a malaria-free status in Bonny Island and become the first malaria-free zone in Nigeria. This keys into the companies Bonny-Dubai vision for the Island and helping to build a better Nigeria.”

The report, which maintained that the project initiation phase was completed with novel activities such as the first ever sub-national malaria indicator survey, also stated: “In 2019, the project initiation phase was completed with novel activities such as the first ever sub-national malaria indicator survey, which served as baseline and evidence for the project’s strategic direction. The survey findings and strategy were presented at a national meeting with international malaria stakeholders such as the United States Government President’s Malaria Initiative (USG-PMI), Global Fund and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This projected the company as the first private sector organisation to fund an impact-focused project in the health development landscape. This got the attention of all global front-runners in malaria eliminationand earned the company an invitation to an exclusive meeting in Washington with the Global Coordinator for USG-PMI, who seats at the level of an ambassador in the USG. This meeting took place in Baltimore, Maryland USA and NLNG was the only organisationgiven that exclusive opportunity. A relationship was fostered, and this led to a visit by the USG-PMI technical team, to Bonny Island in January 2020 as a prelude to the signing of an MOU between both parties.”

However, the report noted the development of a 5-year malaria elimination strategy document with concise targets from 2021 – 2025 and the training of 48 healthcare workers on provider behaviour change for the improvement quality of malaria case management as some of its achievements.

“Unfortunately, in March 2020 the world was hit by the COVID pandemic and this brought all non-essential activities to a standstill, including the BNYMEP.”

Despite this setback, in November 2020, project activities recommenced, with a lot of rebuilding of foundational concepts, systems and structures. The project was reframed, with new targets, timelines,and timeframe (2021 – 2025).

“In March 2021, the USG-PMI and NLNG finally signed a five-year MOU with the vision to make Bonny Island Nigeria’s first malaria-free zone. This has put NLNG on the global health map as the first indigenous organisation to enter a partnership with a foreign government for the purpose of disease elimination. Innovation born from this partnership will serve as a model for Africa and help solve the existing gaps that have stalled global progress towards malaria elimination.

“The project implementation phase commenced in May 2021, with targets focused on quality of malaria case management and behaviour change to engender uptake of malaria elimination interventions. Since human resource is the bedrock of any organisation, the project team worked intently on human resource development. Approximately 80 healthcare workers and community volunteers were trained and positioned to deliver on the requisite malaria elimination interventions. These ad hoc personnel were supervised, coached, and mentored by the project team to deliver on project targets, using national and global indicatorsas measure of performance and progress, in the healthcare facilities.”

The report also noted the development of a 5-year malaria elimination strategy document with concise targets from 2021 – 2025 and the training of 48 healthcare workers on provider behaviour change for the improvement quality of malaria case management as some of its achievements.

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