Anglogold Ashanti has launched its indoor residual spraying programme in five districts in the Western Region to accelerate the reduction of the malaria cases.
The districts are the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, Ahanta West District, Prestea-Huni Valley District, Nzema East Municipality and the Ellembelle District.
Approximately US$ 1 million will be spent in spraying each district annually.
Last year, more than 750 people were trained and employed to run the programme, which also created employment for local residents of the beneficiary districts.
The gold mining company started an integrated malaria control programme at Obuasi in 2006 with the goal of reducing the disease burden by 50 per cent over a period of two years.
AngloGold Ashanti has invested more than US$ 9 million in its malaria control programme at Obuasi since 2005.
By the year December, 2008, malaria cases recorded at the Mine Hospital had reduced from over 6,800 a month to less than 1,500 each month.
The number of malaria cases among mine workers treated by the Mine Hospital has reduced from 2,500 each month, resulting in an increase in school and work attendance, a strong and healthier workforce, a reduction of over 90 per cent expenditure on malaria treatment to the company and a drastic reduction in lost man days attributable to malaria.
In the year 2008, AngloGold Ashanti was selected by the Country Co-ordinating Mechanism (CCM) of Ghana as the principal recipient of a Global Fund Grant of more than US$ 130 million to scale up the indoor residual spraying in 40 districts in the country.
The programme is already being implemented in the entire Upper West Region, five districts in the Ashanti and Central Regions and will be covering over 70 per cent of the Upper East Region by December, 2013.
A total of more than 2.5 million Ghanaians are estimated to benefit from the programme by the end of this year, with over 1,800 jobs created.
The AngloGold Ashanti Indoor Residual Spraying Programme was launched in the Western Region at Bonsa in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality which coincided with the World Malaria Day celebration on Thursday, April 25th, 2013.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr E.K.T.Addo, who launched the programme urged the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to ensure that there was discipline in the society regarding waste disposal and management, and enforcement of laws and regulations on waste disposal and management to protect the society from the effect of indisciplinary conduct of the few.
He said there were several laws and regulations sitting in the country’s statute books that mandated the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to enforce those bye-laws, but most district assemblies had failed to enforce them.
The Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti (Iduapriem Mine), Mr Sicelo Ntuli, noted that despite efforts by the government and corporate organisations in fighting the disease, malaria related deaths continued to occur.
“We believe that ill-health affects productivity and has a toll on individuals, thus we will strive to fight the disease in order to help achieve the millennium development goal six”, he said.
“It is our expectation that the various communities will co-operate with the AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control team when the programme is rolled out”, he added.
The Programme Director of AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control Limited, Mr Sylvester Segbaya, said according to the 2012 World Malaria Report, an estimated 219 million cases of the diseases led to approximately 660,000 deaths in 2010, with 90 per cent of all malaria deaths occurring in Africa, and with the vast majority being children under five years.
He said the indoor residual spraying was an expensive, but very effective malaria control intervention.
Mr Segbaya, therefore, called on all the beneficiary communities to assume leadership responsibility in the fight against malaria and that the communities must act to protect themselves from malaria.
Story: Kwame Asiedu Marfo
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