malaria
malaria

She said malaria was taking a heavy toll on Ghanaian businesses resulting in each employee losing 30 working days annually to malaria.

Dr Malm, therefore, urged corporate businesses to purchase malaria preventive commodities such as Medicines ( LLINs) for staff, support research, adopt a community and support it to improve malaria outcomes in communities, and provide financial resources to support the NMCP to scale up malaria interventions throughout the country.

Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders and businesses in Accra, Dr Malm noted that the economic cost of malaria to businesses in Ghana in 2014 alone was GHS 20, 000 and with 90 of the total cost being direct costs and the 10 percent being indirect cost-absenteeism.

According to the Government, malaria cost the country over $735million annually through sickness and lost productivity, and urged corporate businesses to support the development since malaria affected the nation’s capacity to attain the level of health for its workforce.

The meeting was jointly organised by NMCP and UNICEF to share the current strategic framework and encourage businesses to help in the fight against malaria.

Dr Malm explained that Ghanaian businesses spent an average of 0.5 percent of the annual corporate returns on treatment of malaria in employees and their dependents, 0.3 percent on malaria prevention, and 0.5 per cent on other health-related corporate social responsibilities.

She said, “Defeating malaria requires the engagement of all sectors to help reduce the health and economic burden of the disease or else, our development aspirations will not be realised.”

She said most of the interventions had been public sector driven, public sector focused, therefore, there was the need to engage the private sector, especially when donor resources were dwindling.

Dr Malm noted that there was still a large financial gap of $854m, which needed to be filled and called on the private sector to join forces to fill the financial gap and eradicate malaria from Ghana.

Last year, 8.4 million cases of Out Patients Department cases (OPD) were recorded accounting for 30 per cent of all OPD cases, 27.9 per cent of admissions and 7.2 per cent of deaths.

The NMCP, she said, would provide technical assistance, facilitate the establishment of Workplace Programmes, and help manage any fund that would be generated for malaria control.

Dr Victor Bampoe, the Deputy Minister of Health, urged stakeholders to support the national efforts and mobilise financial and human resources to make quality medicines and commodities available and affordable to all communities and individuals.

Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng, the Chief Executive of UT Holdings and the Malaria Ambassador, called for the establishment of a Malaria Foundation that would be private sector-led and managed to help eradicate malaria from the country.

Ms Rushnan Murtaza, the Deputy UNCEF Representative in Ghana, commended Ghana for making tremendous gains made in reducing malaria deaths as well as increasing prevention efforts.

He reiterated the need for businesses to protect their employees and their families from the burden of malaria.

GNA

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