By Abujah Racheal
Pan-Africare, an independent, non-profit organization, has said it is using Basketball to raise awareness of malaria among secondary school students.
The Country Director of Pan-Africare, Mr Patrick Adah, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 2023 power-Forward malaria youth summit.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was organised in collaboration with Exonmobil, MBA and Pan-Africare to commemorate 2023 World Malaria Day, at the Divine Mercy School, Abuja.
Adah said that the summit was malaria driven even from ExxonMobil because it’s a life-threatening disease spread to humans by some types of mosquitoes.
“So this is most of the things we do in public health, especially around creating awareness on Malaria and we have used various strategies to create awareness, during this summit we are using basketball as a platform to commemorate world malaria day.
“We are teaching the pupils and also raising public health awareness among them, so we have engaged coaches, over 40 of them, that go to schools to teach the students and during short period in the basketball game, they talk about malaria.
“So, the students have been trained on malaria, so we have what we regard as malaria champions among the students,” he said.
According to him, “in malaria prevention, you need to know what is malaria, and how malaria is transmitted from one person to the other for you to prevent it and know the appropriate ways of preventing it.
He said that Malaria can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites and with medicines.
“Treatments can stop mild cases from getting worse.”
Malaria mostly spreads to people through the bites of some infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
“Blood transfusion and contaminated needles may also transmit malaria. The first symptoms may be mild, similar to many febrile illnesses, and difficult to recognize as malaria.
“If left untreated, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness and death within 24 hours,” he said.
The Country head for MBA Nigeria, Gbamisola Abudu, made it clear that sport, especially basketball, is one of the ways the country can use in educating the youth about malaria.
Abudu said “The whole idea of the programme is announcing the power of sports to educate the youth about malaria awareness and malaria prevention.
“One thing about sports as we are all aware of, is that it is a tool that the youth designate with in a way that they do other activities.
“So we have been able to utilise such power to educate them about their health issues that are very important and has been a key cornerstone of this partnership for us,” she said.