A project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs.

Marathon Oil Company

As a champion of malaria control in Equatorial Guinea, Marathon Oil Company saw a unique opportunity to scale up their malaria educational campaigns by partnering with United Against Malaria during the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations soccer games, which were taking place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January and February 2012. With technical assistance from the Voices program, Marathon produced and distributed nearly 40,000 6-page entertainment-education magazines called Goal! (or Gol! in Spanish) that featured the national team captain Rodolfo Bodipo and malaria messages, malaria-related quizzes and information on the Africa Cup, including a schedule of games. Distribution points included health centers, schools, gas stations, and strategic locations near the stadium. The company also funded billboards in the central town of Malabo featuring Mr. Bodipo and malaria messages about how to protect yourself from this deadly disease.

Marathon has been working on malaria control activities in Equatorial Guinea since 2003, shortly after they acquired exploration and production rights off the shores of Bioko Island. To help secure the health and productivity of the local workforce, Marathon and its business partners set to work to eliminate or at least reduce malaria, which they identified as a key health threat affecting employees and nearby communities. They teamed with the Equatorial Guinea Government to form an implementation team led by the nongovernmental organization Medical Care Development International (MCDI). The Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) that resulted is a five-year US$15.8 million initiative with the goal of reducing malaria transmission by reaching the entire population of 150,000 people on the 2000-square kilometer island with malaria control interventions.

As of 2011, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has decreased the prevalence of the malaria parasite in children by 57% in just four years and has increased the number of children protected by bednets or indoor spraying of insecticides from 4% to 95% in that same period, according to a report by Roll Back Malaria entitled Business Investing in Malaria Control: Economic Returns and a Healthy Workforce for Africa. The project has won numerous high-profile awards for social responsibility and good citizenship. Antimalarial activities have been extended to 2013 to develop local capacity and enable the program to reach the mainland.