Rosehill Group of Nigeria and Labiofam S. A. of Cuba have signed a strategic partnership agreement aimed at tackling malaria in select cities in West Africa.

The chairman of Rosehill Group, Mallam Suleiman Yahyah, OON, and Labiofam S. A.’s general manager, Mr. Jorge Luis Yong Gaiton, signed the agreement in Havana, Cuba, on behalf of their companies. The Cuban ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos E. Trejo Sosa, who facilitated the partnership agreement, also witnessed the signing with the concurrent support from the Nigerian Embassy in Cuba.

Rosehill Group announced in a statement in Abuja that the gesture would be part of its corporate social responsibility. “We will promote it, make our environment safe and conducive for generational and sustainable development,” it said. “We will also identify communities where pilot schemes will be run on humanitarian basis as the first step towards large-scale promotion of the solution.”

A factory that will produce chemicals that will kill mosquito larva in affected areas will be set up in Nigeria with technical support from Cuba, using Nigerian volunteers, corporate funding, government support and other organizations focused on international multi-lateral prevention and eradication of malaria, the statement noted.

Apart from the health benefits of increased productivity, it would also create jobs for thousands of Africans.

Mallam Yahyah wondered why, in spite of technological progress and advancement in healthcare delivery, the malaria scourge continues to challenge and kill many people especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Most of the aid programmes are framed on prevention and cure, while the source of the disease, the mosquito, is allowed to flourish. Cuba has, over the years, developed bio-sensitive and sustainable chemicals that destroy the larvae — the eggs that reproduce malaria,” the statement said. “However, due to geo-political considerations and several years of isolation, most aid agencies don’t want to work with Cuba. Now that Obama and Castro have broken the ice in relationship, we must explore how to break the mosquito chain; and if the know-how is from Cuba, so be it.”

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