Partners ExxonMobil and MTN Support Cameroon's 8.7 Million Mosquito Net Distribution with Innovative Communications Platform: NightWatch
NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cameroon launched its first-ever universal coverage campaign on Saturday, as the government and health partners aim to distribute 8.7 million mosquito nets to families across the country over the coming months. ExxonMobil Foundation and MTN are supporting this life-saving effort to help end malaria, a preventable disease that takes the life of an African child every 45 seconds. Private-sector leaders are showing how business is helping lead the way to a malaria-free Cameroon.
The campaign kicked off on August 20th in Cameroon's capital city of Yaounde, under the leadership of Prime Minister Philemon Yang, Minister of Health Andre Mama Fouda, and members of Cameroon's business, health and entertainment sectors. To coincide with the government's effort, Malaria No More is working with partners to ensure that families in Cameroon use their mosquito nets every night to have the greatest possible impact: saving lives.
NightWatch, a communications program developed by Malaria No More and Lalela Project, is supporting Cameroon's national "K.O. Palu" (or "Knock Out Malaria") campaign. NightWatch brings together top Cameroonian stars, including singers Lady Ponce and Petit Pays and jazz musician Richard Bona, to record reminder messages that broadcast on TV and radio every night at 9 p.m.—the time when the malaria-carrying mosquito typically emerges. These artists and others also created an anti-malaria pop song that is airing on TV and radio stations across the country to get Cameroon moving to a new beat as the country rallies against the disease.
In Cameroon, the ExxonMobil Foundation is supporting this groundbreaking work to educate millions of Cameroonians about the importance of sleeping under mosquito nets, seeking proper treatment, and fighting malaria in their homes and communities.
"We are committed to continuing to do our part to fight malaria," said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. "By using communications channels like NightWatch, we can help ensure families in Cameroon are better prepared and equipped to protect themselves from this deadly disease."
As Africa's largest cell phone provider, MTN Cameroon is airing nightly messages on its broadcast channels and is also sending SMS reminders to the company's five million subscribers, urging them to sleep under their nets.
"Cameroon has a modern, technologically-savvy population—but malaria has been in our country for generations and we have a lot of work to do," said Jean-Claude Ottou, the Deputy CEO of MTN Cameroon and Executive Secretary of MTN Foundation. "MTN Cameroon is honored to offer our networks and channels to raise awareness about how everyone in the country can help defeat malaria."
"Malaria No More is proud to work with such committed partners to help Cameroon's effort to 'Knock Out Malaria,'" said Kate Campana, Managing Director of Impact Programs at Malaria No More. "The generosity and leadership of the private sector and Cameroonian cultural icons are important elements of the country's landmark effort to end malaria deaths."
To find out more about the NightWatch program and to listen to the anti-malaria anthem, visit: http://www.malarianomore.org/what-we-do/cameroon-nightwatch.
About Malaria No More
Malaria No More is determined to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015 – and we're helping the world get it done. Malaria No More leverages high-impact communications to engage the world, global advocacy to rally leadership and strategic investments to accelerate progress. For more information, visit www.MalariaNoMore.org, read our Buzzwords blog, fan our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.
About Lalela Project
Lalela Project empowers youth affected by extreme poverty through Ideas, Art, and Music (I AM). Their programs and curriculum are based on the definition of "lalela," which in Zulu means "to listen." Listening to community issues, Lalela co-designs with the community empowerment projects that utilize whole-brain thinking to shift behaviors and encourage creative solutions. For more information, visit www.LalelaProject.org.
About ExxonMobil Foundation
ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. Since 2000, ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation have contributed more than $100 million to the fight against malaria. Additional information on ExxonMobil's community partnerships and contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.
About MTN Cameroon
Created in February 2000, MTN Cameroon is the leader of the telecommunications market in Cameroon, with simple, innovative and accessible solutions to address the communication needs of Cameroonians. As a true corporate citizen, MTN Cameroon created a Foundation in 2005, the first corporate foundation in Cameroon which works for the well being of communities in the areas of education, environment, community development, arts, culture and health. MTN Foundation distributed 13 000 longlasting insecticide treated mosquito nets to pregnant women in 2010, to fight against malaria in Cameroon.
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SOURCE Malaria No More