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.