MTN, as part of its 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa campaign, is demonstrating its drive to improve the lives of Africans through a new initiative to help save millions of Africans from the scourge of malaria.
The project, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, Malaria No More, Roll Back Malaria Partnership, John Hopkins University Center for Communications and PATH, aims to distribute anti-malaria mosquito bed nets in affected areas, hoping to achieve 100% coverage by 2010.
This initiative could have the net effect of saving more than 4 million lives in Africa by the year 2015. Malaria, a disease accounting for nearly one million deaths a year in Africa alone, is responsible for more fatalities of children aged 5 and under than any other cause-of-death.
The drive to distribute the anti-mosquito nets is being launched as part of MTN’s broader “We can’t wait, Let’s go 2010” campaign, in which the first and only African global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ declares that it can’t wait for everyone to be 100% protected from malaria.
Says MTN Corporate Affairs Group Executive, Ms Nozipho January-Bardill: “With the parasite killing more children under the age of five in Africa than any other disease and infecting hundreds of millions more, something as simple as using a mosquito net can ensure that everyone gets to experience the first ever FIFA World Cup in Africa next year. Through its 2010 malaria legacy programme,” explains January-Bardill, “MTN is demonstrating that it is a company with a social conscience.”
The initiative is targeting regions where people are most at risk from contracting the disease through mosquito bites. This includes regions in Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Botswana, Swaziland, Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Benin, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Rwanda.
MTN will also use its “We can’t wait, Let’s go 2010” to create awareness around the project, educating people on the use of anti-malaria mosquito nets and combating the disease through safe preventative practices.
In support of this effort, MTN is trying to raise additional funds for the project. According to January-Bardill: “Malaria has long been known to be a treatable disease and financial resources have been mobilized to combat it. But what is often lacking is education and distribution of tools to make 100% coverage a reality. This is what the MTN 2010 Malaria Legacy campaign will seek to address.”
A sms campaign launched by MTN will seek to generate these additional funds, which will be channeled towards the anti-malaria initiative.