The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), has called on corporate institutions to join the fight against malaria, particularly at the prevention stage, to enhance healthcare delivery for workers and other stakeholders.
Speaking at a corporate meeting on malaria prevention in Accra, Dr. Keziah Malm, a Programmes Manager at the NMCP, said by ensuring that workers have access to prompt malaria treatment, it would help reduce the high rate of infection.
Malaria is the leading cause of illness in Ghana, because the country is malaria endemic. According to experts, children under five years and pregnant women are most vulnerable, and accounted for 30 per cent of out-patient department (OPD) cases, 27.9 per cent of admissions and 7.2 per cent of deaths in 2014.
She said the institutions should also adopt the communities they operate in, and support them with malaria control interventions, to minimise the impact of the disease.
The meeting which was attended by some heads of corporate companies was necessitated by the need for the NMCP to collaborate with private institutions to bridge the gaps that hinders the smooth implementation of national malaria control interventions.
The identified gaps, which include inadequate human resource, finance and commodities came about as global funding dwindled.
Dr. Malm said there had been remarkable reduction in malaria infections, as Ghana currently records six deaths out of 1000 cases of malaria infections recorded in recent times.
“This is a great stride since 140 deaths were recorded out of 1000 malaria infections annually in previous years. Therefore, let’s step up the fight to nib it in the bud,” she said.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Victor Asare Bampoe urged corporate institutions and individuals to take full advantage of the call to end malaria and support the implementation of malaria control interventions in their workplaces, communities and their respective homes.
“Such initiatives could be procurement of rapid diagnostic test kits and the provision of appropriate treatment using safe and effective medications,” he said.
Dr. Bampoe said if the country failed to reduce the health and economic burden of malaria, “our developmental aspirations as a country will remain beautiful dreams and we will continue to pass on the curse of poverty to our children,”
Prince Kofi Amoabeng, Chief Executive Officer of UT Bank and the ambassador for malaria prevention, suggested the establishment of a malaria foundation to aid the effective implementation of malaria control programmes in the country.
Participants at the meeting agreed that a foundation and a fund be set up, managed by the private sector, and used for malaria control programmes.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey