Etisalat Nigeria, a telecommunications company dedicated to providing stable and socially responsible service to Nigerians, has revealed plans for starting ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ in secondary schools around the country. This announcement took place at the World Malaria Day event on April 25, 2016.
Etisalat’s dedication to fighting Malaria in Nigeria, however, is not new. The company has already established relationships with communities and donated insecticide-treated malaria nets to local governments and schools. The ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ will continue Etisalat’s prior initiative that supported Student Leaders Against Malaria (SLAM) groups.
These new ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ will be pioneered by two of Etisalat’s adopted schools through their Adopt-A-School program. The company ‘adopts’ schools through a partnership with the Lagos state government in Nigeria to “bring about sustainable change and development.”
The Director of Regulatory and Corporate Social Responsibility, Ikenna Ikeme, noted that once the pilot program at Akande Dahunsi Memorial Junior and Senior Secondary school is complete, Etisalat “plan[s] to roll out subsequently to our other adopted schools.”
Ikeme also stressed the importance of involving the youth in efforts to eliminate Malaria in Nigeria and the impact that educating school-age children can have on creating “change in behavior in households.” These clubs will allow Etisalat to train students in utilizing technology and other resources to counter the spread of Malaria and for both personal and community-wide success.
Through participation in these clubs and the resources afforded to them, students will learn how to “implement malaria prevention programs in their various homes, surroundings and community at large” and can actively mobilize others to join the movement.
A final fascinating part of Etisalat’s plan for the ‘Fight Malaria Clubs’ in secondary schools is the use of social media technology among participants to engage in and promote “malaria prevention messages.” By providing technological resources that allow for students to participate in a global conversation about eliminating Malaria, these clubs have the potential for not just a local impact, but a global one.
The initiative to involve youth in malaria prevention work reflects Etisalat’s larger mission to be a socially responsible company, as outlined on their home page. The company not only uses their technology and resources to lend a hand to local communities but also provides scholarships and career counseling to students. Etisalat also pursues initiatives to lower the maternal and infant mortality rate, the risk of Ebola, and the level of environmental degradation.
Now at the forefront of global news, Etisalat’s work of empowering individuals and communities through reliable access to crucial resources such as 3G data and wireless calling is gaining recognition as an admirable model for socially responsible business.
– Kathleen Kelso