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Books for Bioko raises funds and provides much-needed school supplies for students in the Malabo area of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, where Marathon Oil’s facilities are located.
Since 2004, employees worldwide have raised more than $750,000 in cash to support the educational development of the next generation of Equatoguineans. The program now supports nine schools, with approximately 5,700 students in primary and secondary grades.
Marathon Oil helps with logistics, transportation and distribution of donated goods.
Annual activities also include a children’s art contest and the Awarding Excellence program. Awarding Excellence rewards students for their academic achievements at the end of their school year. The program builds an appreciation for education on Bioko Island through an annual celebration that involves students, parents, teachers, directors and ministry officials.
To combat bribery and corruption, Marathon Oil supports transparent reporting of revenue flows from oil and gas production. We believe that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) strengthens governance, fosters stakeholder cooperation, aids development of civil society and assists in risk management. Since 2004, Marathon Oil has participated in the EITI process in various countries where we operate, and we continue to communicate our aggregated payments to governments.
We continue to work with Equatorial Guinea on capacity-building efforts for transparency.
Marathon Oil partners with governmental and community organizations to address health care, education and other social issues in Equatorial Guinea.
Malaria accounted for more than one-third of deaths on Bioko Island when Marathon Oil acquired our assets in 2002. Realizing that the disease was the largest social risk to our business and the community, Marathon Oil established a public-private partnership to substantially reduce malaria transmission. The Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) is a collaborative effort of Marathon Oil, our business partners, the private NGO Medical Care Development International (MCDI) and the Government of Equatorial Guinea. The BIMCP is now in Phase III, which continues the use of standard anti-malaria control measures through 2018 and supports participation in trials of a promising vaccine to prevent malaria infection, disease and transmission.
As a result of our project, malaria infection rates on Bioko Island have declined over 50 percent and infant and maternal mortality rates related to malaria infection are down 85 percent. In addition, improved health and well-being is helping to reduce the economic burden of malaria and alleviate poverty on Bioko Island.
In 2014, the malaria infection rate averaged 19 percent of the island’s population, down from a 28 percent infection rate the previous year. The project team tested a new long-lasting insecticide with the potential to reduce the cost and intrusion of indoor residual spraying in homes, a primary intervention method. Based on the test results, 190,000 bed nets impregnated with the new long-lasting insecticide will be distributed to all residents on Bioko Island in 2015. This distribution will follow World Health Organization (WHO) standards by hanging the nets in recipients’ homes. The bed net distribution will maintain progress made through the indoor insecticide-spraying program.
In preparation for vaccine trials, MEGPL, MCDI, Ifakara Health Institute, vaccine manufacturer Sanaria, Inc., La Paz Hospital and the Equatoguinean Ministry of Health and Social Welfare partnered to run the first human subjects trial of a medical product in Equatoguinean history. The project involved training an Equatoguinean team of two doctors, one nurse and a lab manager, as well as assisting in setting up and training the country’s first independent ethics review committee. In addition, 33 adult volunteers were identified to participate in the trials. The team established the first partnership between Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania through scientific research and cooperation. The Equatoguinean Ethics Review Committee, which complies with international scientific standards, approved the research group’s study protocol, with the first vaccine trial starting in March 2015. Two increasingly larger vaccine studies are planned over the next four years to provide proof of concept that malaria can be eradicated in a highly endemic African setting.