First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched the Private Sector Malaria Prevention Project and Malaria Safe Initiative to encourage active private sector participation in efforts at eradicating incidents of Malaria in Ghana.

Mrs. Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo
Mrs. Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo

The initiative, spearheaded by the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programmes together with Ghana National Malaria Control Programmes, is targeted at getting businesses in Ghana to make their working environment and 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.

Mrs Akufo-Addo expressed delight at the 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 observed that Malaria as a disease had 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,and remained one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the country.”

The First Ladysaid apart from these negative effects on the general population, Malaria was also bad for business.

She indicated that a report by National Malaria Control Programme revealed Ghana lost about US$ 6.58 million to malaria in 2014 through employee absenteeism, increased health care spending, and decreased productivity.

The companies involved in this survey spent an average of 0.5 per cent of their annual corporate returns on Malaria treatment alone.

Mrs Akufo-Addo 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 Mr Jon Benjamin, Country Director of Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communications Programmes, Mr. Emmanuel Fiagbe, Manager of Ghana National Malaria Control Programme Mrs. Constance Bant Plange, and Ghana’s Special Malaria Ambassador, Mr. Prince Kofi Amoabeng,

GNA/Newsghana.com.gh

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