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Anave boosts fight against malaria, maternal mortality

As part of efforts to reduce high malaria, infant and maternal mortality rates in the country, Sterling Bank and the Malaria, Child, Maternal Mortality Eradication (MACMME) project have partnered to produce an advocacy movie entitled ‘Anave’.

Starring Omawunmi Megbele, her friend, Waje, Shawn Faqua, Seun Ajayi and Rita Edwards, it is written, produced and directed by Nicolette Ndigwe with the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman and former Minister of Information and Communications, Frank Nweke Jnr, as co-executive producers.

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The movie that premiered before a select audience at a fund-raising event in Lagos on Thursday tells the story of an eight-year-old boy whose mother dies from malaria complications at childbirth, leaving him at the mercy of an orphanage. He ends up on the street in a quest for an education where he faces the struggles of the vulnerable poor and homeless.

Speaking at a media briefing before the premiere, Head, Technology and Digital Compliance, Sterling Bank, Lekan Akintemi, explained that Nigerians shouldn’t be surprised that the lender supported the movie because its focus is “in line with our commitment to the health sector. We are continuously developing solutions that would promote preventive health as part of our overall strategy towards making Nigeria a nation that is populated by healthy people.”

Also speaking, Ndigwe shed more light on ‘Anave’ and the MACMME project, noting that the movie highlights the plight of underprivileged Nigerian children and mothers, 3,000 of whom die daily from preventable diseases.

She disclosed that a real-life event inspired the movie and reiterated the need for cooperation by all stakeholders in the fight against malaria.

Ndigwe further disclosed that the overall goal of the MACMME project is the establishment of viable solutions for improved quality of life for underprivileged Nigerians. “The project’s overall strategic focus takes cognisance of five United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and recognising the potential of film in impacting the minds of people, ‘Anave’ became the best tool to pass this message,” she said.

Ndigwe assured that MACME would do its best to reduce the high rates of maternal and child mortality caused by preventable factors like malaria, homelessness, hunger and other diseases.

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