FQM calls doe more efforts in malaria fight

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–First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has called for more considerable efforts and resources to fight malaria as the status quo has negative implications for Zambia’s continued social and economical growth.

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FQM Health Coordinator, Gertrude Musunka, says more progress can be made in eradicating the parasitic disease that kills three children every day by focusing on priority areas of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), distribution of mosquito nets and sensitisation of communities.

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This is contained in a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today by FQM Public Relations Consultant, Davis Mulenga, ahead of the commemoration of World Malaria Day that falls on Friday, April 25.

Ms Musunka said as this year’s World Malaria Day coincides with Zambia’s Golden Jubilee, the fight against malaria gains greater significance and urgency because of its implications of keeping Zambia on a continued path of social and economical growth.

She said it is in identifying the significant risk malaria poses to Zambia’s social and economic growth that has created the impetus for FQM to invest US $2 million per year in improving health facilities, up-scaling institutional capacity and advancing education programmes in communities and outside areas where the company operates.

Ms Musunka noted that over the years Zambia has made considerable progress in reducing the prevalence of malaria resulting in these efforts being recognised by the United Nations (UN) in 2012.

She said FQM is optimistic that the positive gains it has made with its spraying and distribution of mosquito nets at Kalumbila Mine, where it is scheduled to commission Sentinel, can have greater impact.

“The focal point of everything we do at FQM is to ensure that benefits from the mineral wealth of Zambia flow to Zambians in a significant and sustained manner. The time and resources spent in combating malaria is one striking example of how FQM translates that commitment into tangible and meaningful ways,” Ms Musunka said.

This year’s World Malaria Day will be held under the theme “Invest in the future, defeat malaria”.

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