US Partners NLNG To End Malaria, HIV Scourge In Bonny Island - EazyFeeds

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Tuesday, 23 March 2021

US Partners NLNG To End Malaria, HIV Scourge In Bonny Island

 The United States of America has partnered with Nigeria’s Liquefied and Natural Gas company to end the scourge of malaria and HIV in Bonny Island, a community in Rivers State in the Niger Delta.

The US in a release on Tuesday said it had signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with the NLNG to make Bonny Island “malaria-free and achieve HIV epidemic control.” 

It was stated that under the MOU, the United States, through the President’s Malaria Initiative will provide technical assistance to the NLNG-led Bonny Island Malaria Elimination Project.

The partnership seeks to bring malaria deaths to zero in the community of 300,000 and make the island Nigeria’s first malaria-free zone.  

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, represented the United States at a signing ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja, while NLNG was represented by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Attah.  

In his remarks, Attah said, “We are ready to put Bonny Island on the map as one of the first malaria-free communities in Nigeria and a reference point in the global eradication of the disease. 

“Malaria has negatively impacted health in Nigeria, so it is time to change the narrative and be free from the economic burden of this scourge so our resources can tackle other issues. We hope to set a precedent for the private sector in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which align with our vision of helping build a better Nigeria.”  

The release partly reads, “Administered by the US Agency for International Development, PMI works to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50 percent across 24 developing countries through a rapid scale-up of proven and effective malaria prevention and treatment measures. 

“Two PMI activities already operate on Bonny Island. The MOU also includes a partnership between NLNG and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief regarding support to the HIV/AIDS Surge Project, which focuses on control of HIV on Bonny Island.   

“This partnership will improve HIV case finding, access to antiretroviral treatment, diagnostic, and preventive services for those affected by HIV on the island. The Surge Project is coordinated by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria in Rivers State.”

The ambassador noted that “reducing the burden of malaria and HIV/AIDS on Bonny Island are goals now within our reach. This partnership moves us closer to achieving those goals. I commend the efforts of NLNG to meet its social responsibility in helping the economic climate of Bonny Island by improving the health of its residents.”   

NLNG began the Bonny Malaria Elimination Project in 2019 as part of its vision to transform Bonny Island into a tourism and economic hub in the West African region.

A malaria-free zone is key to attracting investments to the island, which will positively impact the socio-economic well-being of its residents, Attah said.

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