The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has admonished corporate Ghana to support the fight against malaria.
Speaking on the theme ‘’End Malaria for Good’’ at the commemoration of World Malaria Day and launch of the Ghana Malaria Foundation, she said, although tremendous progress has been made through investment in curbing malaria, there is a large gap in the funding levels which needs to be filled in order to achieve a malaria free Ghana and therefore, calls on the business community to lend its support by sustaining gains and investment.
“Every business in Ghana has a worker who has suffered malaria before and knows the cost malaria has on its profitability.
This disease affects all businesses, agriculture, banking, manufacturing, hospitality just to mention a few.
This fact makes malaria a cause and consequence of low productivity and under development. I therefore appeal to the corporate world to support this cause,” she said. She added, “By investing in the fight against malaria, you will be exercising your power to stop deaths, due to malaria.
At the same time your investments, will generate real returns as it will be a key driver of business growth. Investment in malaria control interventions, will help advance broader development efforts by reducing work absenteeism, improving productivity, reducing school absenteeism and fostering business growth.”
The First Lady indicated that for Ghana to be free from malaria, the important thing will be to invest in malaria as employees who suffer from the disease end up been absent at work which affects productivity.
In Ghana, malaria occurs every year with varying transmission intensity throughout the year and it affects all ages but children under five and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.
In 2016, the country recorded 10.4 million suspected cases of Out Patients Department (OPD) malaria, which is an increase over the 10.1 million suspected cases recorded in 2015, representing about 2.5% increase.
This translates into approximately 28,607 cases as seen per day in 2016 in all health facilities compared to an average of approximately 27,908 of such cases seen each day in the country’s health facilities in 2015.
The OPD per 1000 population in 2016 was 364 representing a slight increase over the 2015 figure of 363 per 1000 population for country.
Malaria death rate decreased across age group by 40.9% and currently 72% of all households in the country are protected from malaria with Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs), an increase from 3,2% in 2003.
Credit: Ghana Web