Malaria free Ghana needs support of business community – First Lady

First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo has appealed to the business community to support government in the fight against malaria.

The wife of the President said the target of a ‘malaria free Ghana’ will not be achievable if businesses do not invest in the project.

Speaking at the launch of National Malaria Foundation in Accra Monday, Mrs Akufo-Addo said there is a funding gap in the implementation of the project that businesses must bridge.

“We need to sustain the gains and do even more if we have to eliminate malaria [and] this calls for more sustainable investment,” she said.

The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) reports the country has made significant strides in the fight against malaria.

It said the national prevalence rate has dropped from 20 percent in 2009 to 4.4 percent in 2016 representing a sharp decline of malaria cases.

With the theme for the World Malaria day being “End Malaria for good,” the NMCP is targeting a zero prevalence rate by 2020.

NMCP Programme Manager, Dr Constance Bart-Plange said the success recorded shows interventions put in place over the years have yielded the right results.

Africa’s anti-malaria fight will be given a boost with the world’s first vaccine against malaria that will be made available in selected countries namely Ghana, Kenya and Malari in 2018.

The World Health Organization said the vaccine called RTSS will train the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, spread by mosquito bites.

Deputy Health Minister, Kingsley Gyedu who announced this at the launch of World Malaria Day said the RTSS will save thousands of lives from malaria in Africa.

But the First Lady said achieving a zero prevalence rate in the country will be dependent on adequate resources.

“We all know the devastating effect of malaria and businesses can not remain indifferent to the fight against malaria,” she said.

She added all the businesses in the country know the implications of malaria on productivity because they have had one of their workers suffering from the disease at one time.

“This fight makes malaria a cause and consequence of low productivity and underdevelopment,” she said calling corporate Ghana to support the programme.

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