Monday AM June 29th, 2009

Houston-based marathon oil and several partners say a project to reduce malaria deaths on an island off Equatorial Guinea has greatly reduced child deaths there. Jack Williams reports.
image of malaria carrying mosquito

Marathon Oil partnered with Houston-based Noble energy and other organizations to reduce malaria-related deaths on Bioko Island, off the central African Coast. They sprayed insecticide inside every home on the island and provided combined drug therapies that fight malaria. Adel Chaouch is Marathon's Director of Corporate Responsibility. He says child deaths declined sharply.

"We've seen a significant drop over the past five years of 64-percent. Just to make it simple, on this island of 250,000 people, we've seen an elimination of at least 3000-4000 deaths per year of children in that particular category. We've also seen the mortality rate per 1000 births reduced significantly."  

He says the Marathon model is now being used in other parts of Africa.

"We're very pleased to see that a number of countries are looking at this project or are actually taking some of its parameters and components and are using them for their own programs."

Marathon's malaria program has also helped protect company employees working on projects in Africa.  

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...