Equatorial Guinea has a population of 720,000 people, all of whom are at risk of malaria. In 2011, a report by Roll Back Malaria titled “Business Investing in Malaria Control: Economic Returns and a Healthy Workforce for Africa” highlighted progress against the disease, citing a 57% decrease in the prevalence of the malaria parasite in children in just four years. The country also increased the number of children protected by bednets or indoor spraying of insecticides from 4% to 95% in that same period. The World Health Organization reported 33,830 presumed and confirmed malaria cases in 2011, according to its 2012 World Malaria Report.
Today, 160,000 nets have been distributed through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other bilaterals and contributors. The private sector has been a major contributor to malaria control efforts in the country. United Against Malaria activities took place in Equatorial Guineas
View UAM partners in a larger map
Since 2003, Marathon has been working on malaria control activities on Bioko Island, where more than half of the population lives. 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. Teaming with the government, they formed an implementation team led by the NGO 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.The project has won numerous high-profile awards for social responsibility and good citizenship.
in early 2012, Marathon partnered with UAM during the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. With technical assistance from Voices, Marathon produced and distributed 40,000 copies of GOAL!, an 8-page entertainment-education magazine (Gol! in Spanish and But! in French), 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 messages about malaria prevention and treatment.
As a result of these successful efforts in Equatorial Guinea, and through the support of football champions such as Leodegar Tenga, UAM received an official endorsement from the tournament's organizer, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in January 2012. Representing national football associations throughout Africa, CAF brings exciting possibilities to the campaign, opening the door for life-saving malaria awareness efforts at future tournaments across the continent.