Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has appealed to corporate organizations in the country to assist in the fight against malaria to help boost productivity and subsequently economic growth.
According to the First Lady, although enormous achievements have been made in the fight against the disease, current research shows that nine working days are lost per each episode of malaria a worker suffers.
The research further revealed that, businesses lose a lot each year due to malaria. Madam Akufo-Addo therefore argued that, for the country to sustain the gains made in the struggle, more investments must be made towards the fight.
“There is a huge gap in our funding levels which needs to be filled in order to achieve malaria free Ghana and this is where the business community can lend its support. Every business in Ghana has a worker suffering from malaria so this disease affects all businesses, be it agriculture, banking, industries, manufacturing companies etc. this fact makes malaria a proximal cause and consequences of low productivity and under-development. ”
Whilst speaking at the commemoration of this year’s World Malaria Day, and the inauguration of the Ghana Malaria Foundation, the First Lady commended the members of the foundation for their support.
“I am happy to announce that a group made up of Ghanaian business entities have come together to raise funds to support malaria control in Ghana. We have as its chairman, Mr. Prince Kofi Amoabeng. I will urge all present to give them the needed support to carry out their objectives. When they come knocking on your doors, please contribute generously towards this worthy cause.”
On her part, the Deputy Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Gloria Quansah, was optimistic of the service’s readiness to work with all health-related sectors to reduce the disease with the ultimate aim of eliminating it. According to her, the country, which used to be hyperendemic for malaria was no longer so.”
The World Health Organization (W.H.O) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, also congratulated the country for its commitment to achieving an end to malaria epidemic and the continual support of W.H.O in the fight.
“W.H.O has announced that he world’s first malaria vaccine will be rolled out through pilot projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The vaccine – known as RTS,S, provides partial protection against malaria in young children. The test phase of this vaccine is a milestone in the fight against malaria.”
This year’s world malaria day is under the theme “End Malaria for Good; Invest In Malaria.”
By: Felicia Osei/Citifmonline.com/Ghana