Marathon Oil’s social investments in Equatorial Guinea in 2015 exceeded $6.1 million for a variety of health, education and community programs.
Bioko Island Malaria Control Project. In 2015, we continued funding Phase III of the project with more than $3.3 million and made important changes to the project’s interventions in response to changing demographics on Bioko Island. In addition, we invested approximately $760,000 in the first of three trials of a candidate malaria vaccine for the Equato-Guinean Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EGMVI). This safety trial showed that the Sanaria Inc. PfSPZ© vaccine was well tolerated and did not cause adverse effects in trial participants.Our primary social responsibility program remains the
In 2016, we will continue distributing bed nets to families with primary school-aged children and pregnant women, distributing free malaria combination drug therapy through government health facilities, and will run a second trial to test the PfSPZ© vaccine protectiveness in youth and senior populations.
As we shift our social investments in Equatorial Guinea to focus on capacity building, we have identified cost-effective projects to train health care workers. These include a midwife nurse training program initiated in 2015 by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) School of Medicine and Nursing. The project, which is run by the NGO Foundation for Nursing Development (FUDEN), recruited 70 midwives who will receive 18 months of training while working in the field. After their training ends in 2017, the midwives will return to their home posts and continue working within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
As part of MEGPL’s community assistance programming, in 2015 we piloted a vision screening and eye exam project that donates eye glasses in two public schools. The project serves more than 1,000 youth in the Malabo area of Bioko Island. We also renovated a dormitory for 300 girls at a local orphanage. During the year, Marathon Oil started building a new hospital that will provide much-needed health care infrastructure for 50,000 residents in the Baney District and a reference laboratory to support future malaria vaccine trials and other research activities.
In 2015, Marathon Oil invested $460,000 in the third and final phase of the UNGE English Language Program. Three instructors went to the United States for three months of intensive English instruction, and are continuing their training at EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia, in 2016. Five English instructors with the program taught more than 80 UNGE students, with five students graduating with an advanced high level of proficiency. In 2016, specific courses are being designed for UNGE environmental science, geology and petroleum programs so students can better compete for industry internships and jobs in Equatorial Guinea.
Another educational initiative in Equatorial Guinea is the Books for Bioko program founded by Marathon Oil employees in 2004. Since its inception, employees have raised more than $760,000 for computers, furniture and school supplies for nine schools in the Malabo area. In 2015, employees raised more than $76,000 through fundraising activities and direct giving. In 2016, local employees and school children will paint large world maps in school common areas to improve geographical literacy and help children visualize the larger world around them.
Equatorial Guinea is a major asset for Marathon Oil, and we will continue to develop the country’s people resources, as well as its oil and gas resources, through social investment projects.