FQM calls for multi-sectoral approach to fighting malaria

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Without proper investment, collaborating efforts and a multi-sectoral approach towards the fight against malaria, it will be difficult for the country to make meaningful gains in combating the deadly disease, says First Quantum Minerals.

For this reason the mining firm is happy to be partnering with government, local traditional leadership, the church and civil society through the End Malaria Council, whose main objective is to eliminate malaria by making malaria a top priority on the agenda of all sectors.

“As First Quantum Minerals, we are a proud member of the End Malaria Council, because we acknowledge that malaria is a burden. It is the number one cause of morbidity within our health care facilities across the country. It is important that we participate as we have been proactive in all the malaria control programmes,” said First Quantum Minerals’ health programmes and projects adviser Gertrude Musunka.

Speaking on the side-lines of the End Malaria Council meeting, Mrs Musunka explained that the company wants to be relevant in the local community context; hence one of our main focus areas is the Malaria programme.

The meeting brought together End Malaria Council members from the private sector, government, local traditional leadership and other cooperating partners, who called for action and accountability towards malaria elimination at national and local levels.

“The message is the same: malaria is a burden and it makes business sense to eliminate malaria. It makes humanitarian sense to eliminate malaria. So, as cooperating partners, as businesses, we must come together, to pull our resources together, both human and financial, to do this.

“The burden is wide, but as you may know malaria is a rural burden, and as First Quantum Minerals, we are in a rural province (North-Western), and we would like to see one of these days malaria being eliminated and being taken out of our rural environment, so that our employees can be productive and also our community members can be healthier and lead healthy and happier lives,” she said.

She however said that while FQM is proactive in implementing its community programmes it cannot effectively work without help from the community, adding that local leaders played an important role in spreading messages and influencing the community positively. In addition, working within line ministries ensures that all the programmes are implemented within the Government policy framework.

“We are at a point where the government is saying, now we would like to eliminate malaria. And that is within the framework of what we are trying to do within our districts, both in Solwezi and in Kalumbila. And we also want to support the government to be able to achieve that,” Musunka added.

FQM has spent over US$100 million on its sustainability and community development programmes by alignment it’s Kansanshi and Trident Foundations programmes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The overall objective of the company’s socio-economic development programmes is to improve the health and the quality of life for its employees, their families and their immediate communities.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31