Johannesburg, 25 September 2019: In another demonstration of oil companies’ contribution to the socio-economic development of Equatorial Guinea, the Bioko Island Malaria Elimination Program (BIMEP) has received global recognition at the UN General Assembly this week.
A country-wide health initiative such as BIMEP would have been
impossible without the financial and social involvement of the country’s
biggest companies, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy and Atlantic Methanol Production
Co (AMPCO). By partnering with the MCDI non-governmental organization, the
Ikara Health Institute and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the
Sanaria company’s Research Institute and the Ministry of Health and Social
Welfare of Equatorial Guinea, oil companies in Equatorial Guinea have enabled
the completion of one of the world’s most successful public healthcare program.
“The global recognition of the success of BIMEP and its remarkable
achievement serves as a reminder that the oil & gas sector and its
companies are more than just drillers or exporters of natural resources. By
investing in Africa, hiring Africans and re-investing in socially responsible
projects and initiatives, they build nations, increase our net worth, and make
Africa a better place,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the and CEO at the
Centurion Law Group.
“Equatorial Guinea provides a great example of what the oil industry
can achieve when it partners with communities and the society at large. We call
on other oil companies in Nigeria, Senegal, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, South
Sudan to lead in investing on similar projects,” added Mickael Vogel, Director
of Strategy of the African Energy Chamber.
In fifteen years, oil revenues directed towards BIMEP have led to
reducing mortality for children under 5 years old by 63% and the prevalence of
malaria infection by 76%. The program has also successfully reduced severe
anemia attributable to malaria in children under 5 years old by 90% and
decreased moderate and severe anemia in pregnant women by 77%. More importantly
perhaps, BIMEP has also been fundamental in the introduction of the first
malaria vaccine, which is expected to fully eradicate the disease in Equatorial
Guinea by 2025.
Such a program is not
uncommon within the oil & gas sector, especially in Africa where many oil
companies and energy operators frequently invest in social infrastructure such
as hospitals and schools and fund major socio-economic initiatives and projects
that are key to eradicating poverty, malnutrition and providing access to basic
healthcare services. While highly impactful for the lives of Africans however,
such initiatives often remain untold and unspoken of.