First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has launched two initiatives which are intended to be a platform for encouraging active private sector participation in efforts at eradicating incidents of Malaria in Ghana.
The Private Sector Malaria Prevention Project and Malaria Safe Initiative which is spearheaded by Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs together with Ghana National Malaria Control Programs.
It is targeted at getting businesses in Ghana to make their working environment Malaria safe, their workers Malaria safe, and supporting communities in Ghana to be Malaria safe through creating awareness and championing Malaria free campaigns within their institutions and Ghana as a whole.
First Lady in a discussion with Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng at the launch of PSMP project
During the launch, the First Lady expressed her delight at such an initiative noting that ” the fight against Malaria is not only a passion for me but a responsibility I bear, not only as a mother but as a true citizen who cares for the health of all our people”.
She noted that Malaria as a disease has devastating consequences especially on pregnant women and children as well as the socio-economic developments of Ghana as a nation.
She noted that “Malaria in Ghana accounted for about 48.5 % of under-five deaths in 2015, still remaining one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the country.”
The First Lady further observed that besides these negative effects on the general population, Malaria is also bad for business.
She indicated that a report by National Malaria Control Program shows Ghana lost about US$ 6.58 million to malaria in 2014 through employee absenteeism, increased health care spending, and decreased productivity.
First Lady receiving her citation from Johns Hopkins Communications centre of programs
The companies involved in this survey spent an average of 0.5% of their annual corporate returns on Malaria treatment alone.
The First Lady, therefore, admonished members of the private sector to be active participants in malaria prevention since “it is a sure way to support government in sustaining health and promoting wealth.”
She called on the Ghanaian business sector “to rise to the occasion and embrace the goals of the Ghana-UK Private Sector Malaria Prevention Project and it’s Malaria Safe Initiative.”
At the launch were representatives from companies including Volta River Estates, Ghana Rubber Estates, Blue Skies, Plot Enterprise, Wilmer Africa as well as The UK High Commissioner, Jon Benjamin.
Also in attendcance were Country Director of Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs, Emmanuel Fiagbe, Manager of Ghana National Malaria Control Program, Constance Bant Plange, and Ghana’s Special Malaria Ambassador, Prince Kofi Amoabeng