Ghana’s first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has urged private sector businesses to actively participate in the fight against malaria as the disease continues to impact negatively on the country’s economy.
A report released by the National Malaria Control Program indicated that, Ghana losses over 6million dollars to malaria through employee absenteeism, increased health care spending, and decreased productivity.
Speaking at the launch of the Private Sector Malaria Prevention Project and Malaria Safe Initiative, a project aimed at fighting malaria for the economic prosperity of Ghana, Mr. Akufo-Addo said the total eradication of the disease was critical for development.
“In all, malaria endemic countries of the world; from south East Asia through Sub-Saharan Africa to South America, the prevention of this disease is critical for economic development. This is because malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty.”
According to the First Lady, although the disease resulted in the death of nearly half of under-five deaths in 2015, and remains one of the leading causes of death in the country, the situation would have been worse if not for the relentless efforts applied over the years.
Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo also called for a collective collaboration from the private sector and major stakeholders to ensure health and wealth for all.
“The Ghanaian business sector must rise to the occasion; embrace the goals of the Ghana-UK private sector malaria prevention project, and its malaria safe initiative. Effective enrollment in this partnership and application of the malaria safe pillars, would go a long way in enabling the private sector, donors, civil society and government work towards a common vision of a malaria-free Ghana.”
On his part, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, assured the country of the continuous support and partnership between the two countries.
The launch was attended by representatives from some private companies including Volta River Estates, Ghana Rubber Estates, Blue Skies, Plot Enterprise, Wilmer Africa, the Country Director of Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Program Emmanuel Fiagbe, the Ghana National Malaria Control Program, and Ghana’s Special Malaria Ambassador, Prince Kofi Amoabeng.
By: Felicia Osei/citifmonline.com/Ghana