SPECIAL ADDRESS BY HIS MAJESTY, KING EDWARD ASIMINI WILLIAM DAPPA PEPPLE III, PEREKULE XI, NATURAL RULER, AND AMANYANABO OF GRAND BONNY KINGDOM AT THE FLAG-OFF OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF INSECTICIDE-TREATED MOSQUITO NETS IN BONNY ON 5TH MARCH 2022
SPECIAL ADDRESS BY HIS MAJESTY
A few years ago, I envisioned the development of our Kingdom to become a Mini Dubai in Africa, he shared his vision with the leader’s of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company, the company set in motion the wheel of advancing Bonny into a tourist
Achieving the vision has invariably triggered the development of other critical elements in the Kingdom, specially in the health sector, and for this reason I am happy today that a critical component of the health initiative, which is the distribution of insecticide – treated mosquito nets is kicking-off.
We are aware that by our location as a wetland in the rainforest bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, we are susceptible to mosquitoes which transmit malaria. Thus, if we are desirous of realizing the dream of ensuring good health for our people and presenting our kingdom as a tourism destination, every effort of eliminating malaria should be carrid out
There is no doubt that good health is central to human happiness and well-being which contributes significantly to prosperity and progress.A healthy population is more productive, saves more and lives longer, The negative impact malaria has on health care in Nigeria is quite burdensome, and it is one of the reasons for high mortality rate in the country.
Three years ago, the NLNG carried out a Baseline Malaria Indicator Survey in Bonny Island to determine the malaria prevalence through a rapid diagnostic test. The result of that survey was staggering, with a prevalence ranging from 0.7% to 12.4%, with one settlement in Finima recording as high as 32%. A further survey on insecticide resistance proved a shocking resistance to the current long – lasting insecticide nets being used in Nigeria.
SPECIAL ADDRESS BY HIS MAJESTY
I am aware that a second phase of studies and research ensued which prepared the company to lay the foundation for this project execution phase and its sustainability, the project design and set up are based on recommendation in the World Health Organization Certification document which aims on achieving a malaria – free status for our kingdom.
I have no doubts in my mind that the efforts of the NLNG to meet part of its social responsibility to the people of the kingdom since it commenced the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme and especially the Bonny Malaria Elimination Project for which we are here today, would greatly improve the health of our people. The Programme would put Bonny Island in the map as the pace-setter as the first malaria – free community in Nigeria and a reference point in the global eradication of the disease.
Furthermore, this drive towards a malaria-free Bonny Island would be a boost to the economic climate of the kingdom as it will encourage greater tourists; attraction. It would enhance the destination competitiveness of Bonny in the area of tourism which is an important stimulus of economic growth. It is true that in the drive to attract tourists, the more competitive destination attracts more visitors who spend more money in that destination and this increases the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and stimulates economic growth which further enables economic well-being of the local population.
As a kingdom, we acknowledge the unrelenting efforts of NLNG to bequeath strategic programmes aimed at enhancing the socio-economic development of our kingdom. On our part, we have also ensured a conducive environment for sustained operation of the company, I am confident that the malaria elimination project of NLNG which has received partnership with the United States President’s Malaria Initiative