Lagos – 17/08/15: One hundred and fifty children (ages 3-10) in Makoko community on Saturday, August 16, 2015 received vaccination for typhoid fever, while malaria testing was provided to three hundred and treatment given where needed. This was part of a CSR initiative by General Electric’s Early Career Development Programme (ECDP) Leaders.
The health and education project was carried out in partnership with Slum2School, a volunteer-driven organization which provides education and psycho-social support for disadvantaged children in slums and remote communities.
“The ECDP class for every year is expected to make an impact in the community. So this year, we felt the best way to help would be to focus on health and education. So we got in contact with Slum2School to see a way we can partner to reach the less privileged,” Sandra Nelson, an ECDP participant said. The project also included provision of scholarship for ten children and mosquito nets distributed to 300 families in the community.
The children were not the only beneficiaries of the project. At the Adekunle Anglican Primary School Venue were adults, most of them parents, who came to be tested and treated for malaria. There was also a series of short talks educating the parents on malaria and typhoid, transmission, treatment and prevention.
A cheque of N1.1m was presented to slum2school, representing how much was needed to fund the project. Anthonia Ejoh, another ECDP participant explained that the fund had been raised internally from the GE team. “I see this as a programme that will continue because of the feedback we’ve gotten and because of the structure that slum2school as an organisation has, catering for the needs and building up future leaders and that’s what GE is about: supporting society, creating development and change with the technology that we have,” she added.
While the vaccinations were going on, representatives from ECDP and Slum2School led by Otto Orondaam, founder of Slum2School, went on a visit to the community itself, stopping for courtesy calls on the leaders of the community who expressed their appreciation for what had been done.
“This community is almost like our home,” Otto said, “we have over 600 children who are beneficiaries of our programmes here and every other day we have programmes for them. What we have here today is what we call a psycho-social support which we do once in a while. Most of the people you see here today are part of the medical team, in charge of the health aspect of what we do.”
Makoko is a slum neighborhood in Lagos, with most of its structures constructed above and near the Lagos Lagoon which is highly polluted, putting its residents at high risk of diseases like typhoid and malaria due to an absence of portable drinking water and abundance of mosquitoes.