Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (“Flour Mills” or “FMN”), Nigeria’s leading integrated food and agro-allied group, and owners of the iconic food brand, ‘Golden Penny,’ today announced that it has partnered with the END Fund to tackle prevalent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in eight locations across the country.
The investment by FMN into improving health in the country will specifically support the END Fund in delivering tens of thousands of treatments to those most affected by onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, providing relief from the suffering, disability and poor health caused by these diseases enabling more children to stay in school, and considerably enhance the quality of life of people receiving the treatments.
The partnership with the END Fund was announced on World NTD Day 2022, themed ‘Achieving health equity to end the neglect of poverty-related diseases.’ This day is marked on the 30th of January, annually.
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Joseph Umolu – Company Secretary and Director, Legal Services, FMN, commented: “The collaboration with the END Fund is significant in many respects and of course aligns with our intervention strategy on health, which is one of the five pillars of our corporate social investments targets for the year. We are positive that this initiative will help reduce the prevalence of NTDs and improve Nigeria’s public health indicators.”
“The type of support that this partnership will provide is urgently required to enable Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 on ending neglected tropical diseases by 2030. With the assistance of other private sector actors working in tandem with the government and with critical development partners like the END Fund, we will move the needle positively towards attaining the goal of co-creating a healthier and wealthier nation, free from the burden of NTDs,” he added.
Oyetola Oduyemi, Director of Public Affairs at the END Fund, commented: “The END Fund is pleased to build upon our work across Nigeria to end the burden of NTDs with this important new partnership with FMN. This partnership demonstrates FMN’s leadership and commitment to continued progress towards the country’s public health goals and allows the END Fund to sustain its mission of bringing an end to these preventable illnesses in Nigeria. By aligning the broader goals of our two organizations – contributing to improved nutrition and eliminating diseases that place a significant burden on families and health systems – we are jointly working to build a stronger, healthier future for Nigeria.”
According to the World Health Organisation, over 165 million Nigerians require treatment for one or more NTDs, with over 136 million people at risk of lymphatic filariasis, which is more commonly known by its advanced form of elephantiasis; and in excess of 51 million people requiring treatment for onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness. The country bears approximately 40 per cent of Africa’s NTD burden.
The END Fund has been a key partner in the Nigerian national framework for tackling NTDs and continues to support the country’s plans to eliminate endemic NTDs. In order to achieve this goal, a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy is crucial, with the private sector playing a fundamental role. The partnership with FMN Plc supports the safe delivery of life-changing treatments to affected communities in Gombe, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, the Federal Capital Territory, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, and Ekiti.