Malaria parasites - seen here infecting red blood cells - and mosquitoes do not like cold temperatures
Malaria parasites - seen here infecting red blood cells - and mosquitoes do not like cold temperatures

The Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation, have signed a Memorandun of Understanding (MoU) with Merck, a leading science and technology company, and ASPIRx, a bio-pharmalogical manufacturer, to explore solutions for malaria prevention in Ghana.

The partnership would also culminate into the establishment of Africa’s world first-class vaccine and research centre in Ghana.

Infanta Malaria Prevention Foundation is chaired by Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady, while Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company and ASPIRx, is a Ghanaian owned and vaccine operated bio-pharmalogical manufacturing company.

The MoU, signed as part of a World Malaria Day Scientific Forum held in Accra, to mark the World Malaria Day, is expected to provide support to Ghana Health Service’s National Malaria Control Programme as well as to find solutions for malaria prevention, including supporting the development of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) facilities.

Merck, through the Merck Global Health Institute, partnered ASPIRx to collaborate with Infant Malaria to organise the scientific forum dubbed, “How best to protect children and pregnant women from malaria infection”.

Mrs Ophelia Akiwumi, Deputy Director of Infanta Malaria said at the signing ceremony that: “The entire membership of Infanta Malaria, with the guidance of our First Lady and Chairperson of Infanta, remain committed to serve as a national strategy for promoting accessible and quality health services to all Ghanaians, particularly those in the rural areas.”

Mrs Akufo-Addo said: “This relationship with Merck and ASPIRx, offers yet another opportunity to invest in what we believe will make a difference in the lives of women and children.”

Mr Andrew Clocanas, Executive Chairman of ASPIRx, said “Our President has set our tone of action and our First Lady has inspired us with her dedication to service.

“It is now our responsibility to bring our achievements back home to Ghana. I am extremely proud to announce today that I am bringing my achievements and life’s work back home to invest in my country.

He said Merck, through the Merck Global Health Institute, and the Life Science and Performance Materials business sectors, had formalised the initiation of a long-term research and capacity-building consortium to identify and deploy timely and effective malaria prevention solutions for vulnerable communities.

“It has been a great opportunity to mark the World and Merck Malaria Day this year with new partners in the fight against malaria,” said Beatrice Greco, Head of Research and Development and Access for the Merck Global Health Institute at Merck.

She added that “In the context of our research and development programmes for health solutions in infectious diseases, this initiative will certainly contribute to the success of our integrated ‘One Merck for Malaria programme’ for the pillar on transmission control”.

Mr Fritz Sacher, Head of Strategy Realisation for Africa, Merck, said “In addition, this initiative complements the December MoU between Merck and RMS for Ghana being the first country in West Africa to get a purpose-built vaccine manufacturing factory.”

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